What’s your Passion #48 – Winning Transformations

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How do we transform people into winners with the right attitudes?

This question goes right to the heart of the matter since companies are investing astronomical sums in “transformation.” Yet, almost no company is able to sustain their transformation efforts (Agile, DevOps, Digitalization, etc.) for more than five (5) years.

Probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 4% of the companies will still be moving forward after half a decade. This statistic is from a recent presentation by John Ballis on the sustainability of Lean transformations (link to John’s website):

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Lean Your Way LLC. – Copyright 2021 – all rights reserved – used with permission.

What is observed for Lean is most likely applicable to Agile, DevOps, Digitalization, et al. and it wouldn’t surprise me if the data is the same for those transformations.

What are the secrets to winning the transformation game that the 4% know that the 96% seemed to have completely missed?

Some of the key items is that most companies and organizations are up against are:

  • Refusing to acknowledge the length of the journey involved
  • Underestimating the level of time, resources and budget that will be needed to succeed
  • That ALL transformations are person-by-person, team-by-team, group-by-group until you reach the critical mass needed to succeed in achieving the Vision for the Change
  • Under-communicating the Vision for Change by a factor of 10 (need to communicate it 10x more than we do)

What are the main obstacles to success and how to create winners with the right attitudes?

First, each and every leader in the organization MUST go through the transformation journey themselves. Otherwise, the individuals and team members will likely just view it as a program-of-the-month and will ignore it completely. Someone trying to transform someone else (and they themselves have not gone through the journey themselves) is akin to having a Buddhist monk try to convert people to Christianity. The success rate for that will be extremely low. It is not enough to just talk-the-talk, the leaders MUST walk-the-talk. As the greatest teacher that ever lived once quipped:

  • “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?”

If we don’t know how to renew and refresh our own mind, then will be nearly impossible to demand that of anyone else.

Second, if the leaders are walking-the-talk, they then can function as the mindset guides for the individuals and teams. This means that they must be able to train, coach, mentor and guide each person on their individual transformation journeys. Zig Ziglar, in his classic book from 1984 titled, “The Secrets of Closing the Sale” nails it:

  • It’s safe to say that you are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.” pg 103
  • Second, and far more likely, your behavior is not producing the desired results. This being the case, it should be clear that you need to change behavior if you are going to get what you want. What might not be as obvious is the fact that before you change your behavior you must change your thinking. But, before you can change your thinking you must change the input into your mind.

What Zig is teaching here is mirrored in the 4R Model from the Flow Leadership Framework and Mindset:

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The inputs into our minds will shape our “truth” and that will manifest itself in our values & attitudes; and, that informs our behavior(s).

Finally, the mindset guides in your organization must be able to help others make new decisions based on new information. If we cannot answer the most basic of all marketing questions, “what’s in it for me,” then we will have little chance of convincing others why they should make the change. This is why up to 86% of all Agile Implementations fail. True Transformations take time, skill and experience. It’s not possible for someone to become a Kintsugi master overnight. It is the result of the ongoing pursuit of personal excellence, continuous improvement as well as a commitment to lifelong learning.

You can start your journey right now, even today, by using the mindsets I shared above. And, we have a small army of Flow Leadership consultants across the globe that are ready and available to help guide your organization on their journeys. Let’s chat!


The results for the LinkedIn poll I conducted on “are Leaders Born, Made or is it a Choice?” back on Wednesday, 30 June 2021, are in:

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Copyright © 1972 – 2021 Kallman AB all rights reserved

This poll is qualitative (not quantitative), but it gives you a sense of where people are at. It is encouraging that 63% understand that choice is most important. And, this ties directly into today’s post on how to transform people … it all begins with a choice.


For those that are not familiar with the Flow Leadership Framework, it is what’s next for businesses and organizations that are ready to succeed regardless of the methods, frameworks or management tools that they use throughout their enterprise.

Are you ‘in the zone’ of optimal performance right now as a person, team or enterprise? Did you get there by accident or by focused intentional acts?

“Flow” gives you the tools and practices needed to create and maintain an optimal state of high performance as an individual, team or organization.

The Flow Leadership Framework turbocharges “business agile” leadership.


PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

#culture #scrum #agile #pmi #pmp #kanban #lean #flow #scaledagile #transformation #change #transform