Change with Esther Derby

SEPTEMBER 20, 2020



How to get started with Organizational Change. Have a conversation about what problems they want to solve and what benefits they are expecting. Start with the end in mind. Work on multiple levels, look at leaders, looks at managers, look at teams, really take in the whole system. There is no perfect place to start.


Start with the Why when changing. People need to have an awareness of why the change is important to build a desire and buy in the change. Help people start to see and build connections across the organization. Especially with managers and help them understand it becomes a far more strategic role. Transition from looking at the team vs. looking at individuals.


Jacko’s Book: Extreme Ownership


Don’t separate your Development Team from your Customer. Bad things happen.


Focus on things that are easy to count. Just because it is easy to count labor rate does not mean it is going to drive you to outcomes. This is one of the issues with change. It is harder to have objective measures in place often for the change you are after.


How do you measure change? It depends on what the goal is. Ultimately you cannot change someone else. They must be the ones who change. Sometimes it is just asking if people are asking different questions. Maybe it is how engaged your team members are. It boils down to what they are looking to accomplish. Think about the steering measures, leading and lagging indicators, the metrics that let you know along the way that you are making progress against a goal.


What holds the current patterns in place? What can you influence the underlying system? What are the constraints or the policies? We want collaboration – we want teamwork… but…

  • We have individual task assignments

  • We have individual reviews

  • We have individual rating

  • And people are put in competition with one another against scarce bonus

Agile Retrospectives are about changing. Changing at the team level and changes to the organization.


Sometimes change entails loss. A loss of status, a loss of routine, a loss of competence, etc. It’s important to understand sometimes the change is more than just disruptive. So honor the past. Remember that many good things have happened up until this point and looks at what you want to keep.

Be clear that whatever you think their intention is, it’s a story you made up in your head.

Assume positive intent with others. Be curious. Have an authentic and open conversation with others.

Links to the three books

Esther’s Website:

https://www.estherderby.com/