Practices, Processes, and the Pain of Change

Updated: Feb 28

This week's lectures largely derive from Mike Grieves' book Virtually Perfect, and discusses how people and cultures react to change. (In short... not well.)

Change is Pain

In the brain, change is processed by the same neurons which process stubbing your toe, or stepping on a Lego in the dark. Because change is painful, organizational cultures will cling to the status quo, and view innovations as a threat.

Practices and Processes

Processes are what we do, Practices are what we're trying to accomplish. Unfortunately, what we do (as an organization) is not always aligned to what we're trying to accomplish. Processes are valuable in scaling up to large markets, but they are resistant to change, and therefore innovation.

Hidden practices

There may be hidden cultural practices which supersede the organization's processes, sometimes to its detriment. Lecture also covers an HBR article about mining the "digital exhaust" found in an IT system to see who is talking to whom, to recognize both influencers and dysfunction.