Against the Odds. How do you change the culture of a government department?

location_city Bengaluru schedule Mar 20th 04:15 - 05:00 PM place Grand Ball Room 2 people 51 Interested

A government department is one of the least changeable organisations and yet I have been working with Statistics New Zealand for the past couple of years to do exactly that. How do you even begin to change years of a government culture into an agile workplace where team members themselves are part of initiating that change.

Peter Drucker once stated "Culture eats strategy for breakfast" so how do you put any strategy in place to change a culture?

Come along for a bit of humour and experience to see what was done, and is still being done to change the underlying culture. Hear about how a major earthquake was one of the catalysts for change.

In my experiences, I have taken international oranisations 100 times larger than this department and been able to "start working this way on Thursday", but this was very different and I had to change my entire approach.


Outline/Structure of the Case Study

  • Quick Humorous overview of government departments from 1970's
  • How Statistics New Zealand differs from that, but history always feeds into the culture
  • A change in 2016 when disaster struck Wellington and Statistics New Zealand
  • The brave and forward look at becoming a true Digital organisation, and what that means
  • Coming on board in May, 2017. the situation and expectations
  • The awful realisation that this was not going to be done by lunchtime
  • My initial attempts to guide an agile mindset and why that didn't work
  • Resistance in the form of confirmation bias, change reluctance, and even change resistance - How do you open a closed mind?
  • Training - and the expectations of change that didn't happen immediately, but what it did do
  • A readjustment of strategy
  • Fail-Fast, Learn-Fast
  • Change is happening but now It's all their idea
  • Setting up for the next step to DevOps

Learning Outcome

  • Dealing with Confirmation Bias
  • Changing the closed mind
  • Even a government department can change the underlying culture
  • What fail-fast actually means
  • How can coaches survive in this environment where change is difficult

Target Audience

Agile Coaches; Organisations looking to change; transformation in difficult environments

Prerequisites for Attendees

No prerequisits, just sit back and join me on this journey.


schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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