Change is hard! Really hard! Why doesn’t change stick? Can organisations actually be addicted to harmful practices?

Does your organisation soothe long-term pain with practices that provide short-term relief but fail to address—or even add to—long-term problems? When the pain relief wears off, does your organisation go for another short-term fix? If so, your organisation may be hooked on practices that prevent real change!

Identify your organisation’s addiction, and explore patterns to break it. Start recovery. Help long-term change stick.

I will present Jerry Weinberg’s model of organisational addiction described in Volume 3 of “Quality Software Management”.

We will see how this model can be used to explain frustrating, previously intractable problems with organisational behaviour.

We will play a new innovation game (that I have co-developed and tested with Nancy van Schooenderwoert) to get a better understanding of organisational addiction and learn how to identify it.

We will take this learning and see how prohibition (just say no) leads to more addiction, and we will explore ways to actually break addiction.

This model and tool is a soft-skill in your toolbox that helps you with systemic coaching in your organisation.

Projected learning outcomes / lessons learned

  1. Understand Weinberg’s addiction cycle of short-term gain, long-term pain - and realise how this relates to your organisational behaviour. Get new insight into using this model to analyse and understand why change doesn’t stick in your system.

  2. Learn how to identify and understand the “triggers” feeding your organisation’s addiction to bad practice. Find alternatives to addiction “triggers”.

  3. Apply recovery patterns to working for healthy organisational change.

Please note: the short teaching portions will be in English, the excercises will be English or German.

Steve Holyer Engage Results, Schweiz

Steve Holyer serves as advocate, trainer and mentor for companies, leaders and change agents looking for a better way of working using Agile practices.

He learned his craft serving as a Scrum Master with multiple teams and organisations, so he knows how to change an organisation from the inside.

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