In this episode, Jason Little helps us to understand how to use Lean Change Management to create change that sticks.

After listening to this episode, you'll understand:

  • Why most change efforts fail
  • The elements of Lean Change Management that lead to successful organizational change
  • How to use experiments and adapt your change approach
  • Why canvases are a powerful tool in creating change

Show Notes

Lean Change Management was developed by Jason in an effort to help organizations get unstuck.  It’s a mixture of ideas from lean startup, change management, and agile that all build on each other.

The major difference between Lean Change Management and other change approaches is in the stance that’s taken.  Many change approaches are linear whereas Lean Change Management is an iterative, contextualized approach.

The problem with linear change approaches is that people don’t progress through the stages at the same rates or intensities.  People’s reaction to change is unpredictable and rigid, linear change models often fail as a result.


Jiggle the System

As a change agent, you look for windows of opportunity to “jiggle” the system to get it unstuck.  Part of the Lean Change Management approach is to become aware enough to identify those opportunities.

One way to jiggle the system is to look at small pieces of the change and plot them against people’s motivation and ability to do it.  If people aren’t motivated to make a change or aren’t able to make a change, it’s unlikely that the change effort will be successful.

Determine how you can make the change easier for people.

When designing experiments, always consider that there’s motivation, ability, system blockers, and other things going on that will lead to difficulties in making the change.


Experiment Your Way to Change

Start with insights about the change.  Insights can come from anywhere; watercooler conversations, change readiness surveys, observations, and more.

Based on those insights, come up with options to get the organization closer to the future state.  Of those options, plot them against cost and value to identify higher value, lower cost options to start.

Create experiments based on the selected options.  Remember that an experiment is a hypothesis and should identify the expected outcome and ways to measure the result.  Experiments are really learning opportunities that allow you to adapt your approach.

Wit experiments, you’ll need to prepare for them, run the experiment, and review the results.  Those results may lead to additional insights and the cycle continues.

While the process seems linear, the process is constant – even multiple times per day if needed.

Lean Change Management

Lean Change often succeeds because to the co-creation aspect.  The people that have to live with the consequence of the change have a hand in creating the change approach.

Listen to the full episode for all of Jason’s advice on using canvases and making change stick.



Your Homework

Don’t get overwhelmed with a change initiative.  Find ways to help people in the organization connect to other people who are having success with a change through small wins, sharing stories, and community building.

Look at how social change happens and try to apply those same techniques in your organization by connecting people and having them share stories.


Links mentioned in this episode:


Jason Little

Jason Little

Jason Little is the author of Lean Change Management and an international speaker who has spoken all over the world from Canada, the US, Finland, Germany, Australia, Belgium and more.  Jason has been helping organizations implement Agile practices since 2007 as a Scrum Master, Product Owner, Internal and External Coach.

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