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The Language of Change

Following on from the discussion about Creating a Devops Culture, here’s a wonderful talk by Dave Snowden of Cynefin in which he covers many incredible topics:

  • “the language by which we define things should be the language by which we change things”. This is actually a pretty nice summary of the use of language in Domain Driven Design.
  • “talking to users requires alcohol” – they don’t know what they want and will drive you in circles and to distraction.
  • On systems limiting our ways of doing things – “we’re forcing people to break rules in order to provide care, and that’s wrong”
  • Some great tips on raising teenagers and having children’s parties.
  • A key learning for organisational management – don’t try to change behaviour but “You can change people’s interactions and then they can choose how they change”. This has a direct relation to interaction modes in Team Topologies.
  • Delivery is narrowing the gap between “statistical stuff that provides objectivity to a narrative that provides the explanation”

This talk is well worth your time. It’s very amusing, serious and sober in equal parts. Watch it and think about how you can apply it to your organisation and to your existing processes.

Like all the best ways of approaching change – this is adaptive to your situation. You can choose how you approach change and won’t make it (can’t make it) a ‘big bang’.