We won’t go fast with Agile Transformation. OKR framework needs more time to settle in our company. We will give enough time to employees for their mindset change … 

You’ve heard these sentences often in your company, right? What is the reality?

Have you heard about PUSH and PULL methods in case of IT architecture? And what about up to 5 Influence styles PUSH, PULL and MOVE AWAY?

In today’s post I’d like share with you 5 Influence styles and how they are applied in many companies going through Agile Transformation and OKR implementation.

What is the key aspect for, e.g. OKR framework acceptance and really usage in the companies? The answer is obvious. The employees should trust that approach, open their mind to think as entrepreneurs and come up with agile mindset. Is that even possible for all employees? No. It’s not.

 

The Agile transformation or OKR implementation should follow PULL influence styles. Yes, no other words or comments. In the typical companies you can read many nice words about how gently the transformation is going to happen. But in most of the cases, companies will start to apply PUSH influence styles. Because they are use to do that. For long time.

What does it mean?

 

PUSH Influence styles

  • Persuading – typical behavior is proposing ideas, suggestions, recommendations, questions that suggest a proposal. Or reasoning facts and logic in support or opposition, argument for or against, rhetorical questions.
  • Assertingevaluating positive or negative judgment, reinforcement or criticism, personal. Stating expectations – needs, demands, standards. Using incentives and pressures.

PULL Influence styles

  • Bridging – involving – soliciting views, ideas, and information from others, encouraging participation. Listening – paraphrasing, summarizing, reflecting feelings. Disclosing – admitting mistakes, revealing uncertainty, making oneself vulnerable, asking for help.
  • Attracting – finding common ground – common values, beliefs, ideas, agreement and synergy. Sharing visions – viewing future with optimism, picturing ideal outcome, using positive metaphor, analogy and word pictures, using language that builds enthusiasm.

MOVE AWAY Influence tactic

  • Disengaging – postponing to a future time. Changing the subset. Giving / Getting feedback. Taking a break.
  • Avoiding – backing down, dismissing real differences, discarding objectives, withdrawing from the situation.

If you re-read the explanation of Push and Pull influence styles and visualize how the OKR implementation goes within your company, what style is mostly used? It is wise to observe certain time frames during OKR journey.

In the beginning all is pink and we have enough time. Colleagues will start to produce first low quality objectives and misunderstood key results. First 6 months managers are ok, don’t push. After second iteration, which means 12 months, they want to see that working. And as time goes we are suddenly in 3rd iteration and 1,5 year is gone.

Managers start to talk about Standardization of the process, Judge progress, Increase pressure to move faster, many recommendations and suggestions even that they don’t understand the real Outcome meaning. Yes, it is Push style in place.

Push styles are not always wrong. Sometimes you need to use facts and figures and be tough during negotiation. On the other hand in case of Agile Mindset and values, it is more about listening, sharing, common values and beliefs, being able to show mistakes, optimistic visions which come from Pull styles.

Therefore I’ve introduced CEC Model which makes OKR framework obsolete to highlight openness for new ideas anytime. For real engagement of Squad team members with communities (customers). For continuous evaluation of added values toward communities.

Be ready to understand that NOT everyone will end up with Agile mindset. Even less people will work and think like entrepreneurs. At the same time your company should enable all 100% employees to get into the Desired States of their products and services as smooth and engaged as possible. CEC Model makes it possible.

 

To read more about the whole Agile Transformation Steps and much more, take a book Manager 4.0 in Agile World of 21st Century.

 

If you want to know more about Positive power and Influence and these styles, I recommend to have a training e.g. from these guys. BTW: I had several times this training and It was great. (with Rob from Manchester)