Striking Balance in a Journey of Change


So we’ve recognized the need to change the way we work, but how do we go about it?

Think about how we typically approach change. We see a destination, assess where we are currently, plan out the journey, then monitor the execution. 

There are two things that will usually get us into trouble here: Going into too much detail too early and following a commitment to an inflexible plan. 

Early on, we tend to make lists of all the things that need to happen. We might spend days, weeks, or even months doing this. What we tend to overlook is that we’re making assumptions and investing time in planning a journey when we have the least amount of knowledge. 

On the execution front, once we commit to the things we’re going to do and the timeline in which we’re going to do it, the focus tends to be narrowed to that list and timeline, even if it isn’t necessarily the best thing for the organization. 

Let’s take a look at things a different way. If we have a desired destination, we might not know all of the details of how we’re going to get there, but we can form a backbone or a skeleton. 

We want to focus on two things:

  1. Breaking down work to be delivered incrementally and flexibility

  2. Increasing the flow of work.

If we have a general idea of where we’re going, we can break things down further when it makes sense to do so, rather than all upfront. We’re striking a balance between doing too much upfront work but also not just throwing random ideas around. 

This is gives the opportunity to innovate and creatively solve organizational problems through learning and adapting cycles.

The more we learn, the more efficient we become, and the more informed we are when we adapt our strategy to accommodate changing needs. 

Bret Piontek