13: Enterprise Agile Coach, Fadly Rasyad on Why Most Transformations Fail

Why Most Transformations Fail

Most organizations want to improve performance, but few succeed. In fact, research has shown that most transformations fail. Common reasons are a lack of leadership commitment, unrealistic goals, and resistance from employees. To succeed in your business transformation, you need a different strategy.

In episode 13 of Agile Leaders Conversations, hear Fadly Rasyad share his insights after being in the agile transformation for over 20 years. Discover the reason why most transformations fail and how to achieve a different outcome. As a seasons DevOps consultant and Enterprise Agile Coach, Fadly offers insider knowledge and hands-on wisdom that will be valuable to any business considering a transformation. We also discuss how leaders should and should not regard ‘people.’

Connect with Fadly at https://www.linkedin.com/in/frasyad/

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Fadly Rasyad: We have to have our own identity. We have to have our own objectives, our personal goals. And then from there only we can act we can actually build the identity that we want in order to fit into the system. So it’s not the other way around that. Basically the system is going to fit into our identity.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Welcome to agile leaders, conversations where executives, business leaders and experts from all sectors come together and share leadership insights around leading in today’s workplaces. They will be sharing some valuable tips on how they use the agile mindset to make sense of the complexity and the authenticity and ease.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Hi everyone. My. And I’m an executive coach from Singapore. And in this episode, I have the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Farley enterprise coach and op consultant based in Singapore. In this episode, I have the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Farley Russia enterprise coach ops consultants based in Singapore finally has more than 20 years of experience coaching teams and organizations towards agility.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Funny. Would you share a little about

Fadly Rasyad: yourself please? All right. Thank you. Thanks. Good morning. So basically I’m actually, we can say I’m one of the luckiest people, because I was exposed to agile in the early 2000 when it was at the stage of at the very beginning when agile was actually starting to gain popular, So what happened is that at that time, when I was starting to work with agile, I it’s actually blowing up my mind because that’s totally something different that I have learned.

Fadly Rasyad: And the good thing about it is that it’s actually giving me lots of opportunities to learn about something. The new ways of working whereby we actually work as a team and then really appreciate people. And whenever I’ve been working with different teams and individuals, I always try to advocate agile and agility on how we actually work in towards our objectives.

Fadly Rasyad: Be it a project even sometimes related with our personal. And basically as an enterprise agile coach, I am also advocat this to senior leaders and other the whole departments in my organization. So that basically we can have better ways of working and then achieve a better outcomes.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Yeah, that’s great. Can I really hear that? Finally, you are the advocate and I think enterprises these days need to seriously consider. Adopting the agile way of working. I don’t wanna say going agile because we know they will make call some problems and we say were going agile.

Fadly Rasyad: What does it really mean?

Fadly Rasyad: yeah.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: So funny. I, we met at a panel discussion where we were talking about leadership agility, and then we went on to have more conversations on it. So funny, we have also read my book. So wondering, what are your thoughts of the book after reading.

Fadly Rasyad: Okay, thank you. So basically I really like the book, first of all.

Fadly Rasyad: When I picked up the book, I was when I look at the title, seems like this could be a heavy book, but then when I look at, oh, it looks like this is actually quite easy to understand because in one sitting, you can go up to three chapters so it’s very easy to understand and it’s really good to basically learn.

Fadly Rasyad: About people’s paradoxes on how people experience changing from one mindset to another. And in fact, it’s something that also related with me, because I know that when agile is totally is like totally different perspective that people has to, what do you call change? But unfortunately not many.

Fadly Rasyad: There are not many resources out there for people to try to relate on how the journey to what agility looks like. So by reading this book is actually like giving me refresh, refreshing of my mindset. And also it helps me to looking back. How it was the journey for me actually at that time.

Fadly Rasyad: So yeah, it was a good book actually.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Thank you. Thank you so much. I think your comment is definitely consistent with what most readers say is easy to read. Someone even said he finished the entire book in one sitting, and I think the stories are definitely relatable. And from what I’m hearing from you.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: It actually tells you what are the possible sticky points that may happen in an agile transformation journey, because it is all about people, how people respond to it. You’re right. Yeah. Okay. That’s good. That’s excellent. So in the book there are eight paradoxes. So I’m wondering, was there one that particularly resonated with

Fadly Rasyad: you?

Fadly Rasyad: Okay. Actually, there are many , but if I have to choose OK. If I have to choose it’s actually. It’s actually this chapter a little bit self versus system. Why I like that chapter is actually, it’s remind me because during my during my journey itself toward agility I was so focused on basically doing things.

Fadly Rasyad: I was workaholic, very workaholic. I lose my self identity on who am I basically? I can I, sometimes I stumble into, there was one day I actually stumble into and I do a reflection on myself that I realized that, what am I doing actually? Why I kept doing this?

Fadly Rasyad: So who am I? So from that self-reflection I realized that basical. We have to have our own identity. We have to have our own objectives, our personal goals. And then from there only we can act we can actually build the identity that we want in order to fit into the system. So it’s not the other way around that basically the system is going to fit into our identity.

Fadly Rasyad: So from there I realized that I have to change my mindset. I have to basically. Thinking back, and then reframe how I think reframe what is really I want to achieve in life. And then from there I realize one thing is that there is we have a very limited, our life is short basically, so we have a very limited time to achieve our dreams or goals.

Fadly Rasyad: If you don’t really stop and then looking at what we are going to do, what we are going to achieve and then building our identity, and then it’s going to be very tough to move forward. So looking back and then build our own identity will be very important for me personally, so that I can actually have a more enjoyable journey towards what I want to achieve in the.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Thank you so much. So many good things that you shared. A few things that jumped out at me, one was that we have limited. Everyone is model. I think that’s my understanding that I didn’t realize that until I was in my meet thirties, because some, there was some, health hiccup, and that really made me realize that should we have limited time and we’ve limited time that it means that to pursue our dreams.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: We have that amount of time only. So don’t waste time, so that’s usually what I advise people. and I, another thing that was great, which I really liked was that the onsites actually within. Answer is really us. Yeah. And very aligned with the coaching principle too. Greatness is in us. However, what most people do is to go out and try to look for the answer, but actually it should be the inner journey that will really help us.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Exactly.

Fadly Rasyad: Exactly. Yeah.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: And the third one you said, which was excellent as well, the system is not gonna change for you. It’s more of it’s being discerning to know whether this system. It’s gonna work for you. Yeah. And to be able to do that, the first thing is know yourself. Yes. Yeah. Okay. That’s excellent.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: That’s excellent. And I’m happy to see that we have this alignment because my entire leadership development program is based on starting with yourself first, do that inner work properly. Know your values. Know what’s important to you. Then you will know very well how to be agile, how to shift your mindset and what you can or cannot shift.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: So that’s excellent. Also then wondering does this definition or leadership agility in the book and I’ve intentionally kept it simple just about being able to flexibly, navigate complexities, uncertainties, and most importantly, with that sense of authenticity and ease. So wondering from your perspective, how do you see it?

Fadly Rasyad: Basically, it’s resonated with me when I read that because as a leaders we have a very important position. That, especially we, if we are leading a team or leading an organization if we ourself don’t accept the reality as it is, then it’s gonna be difficult for us.

Fadly Rasyad: To basically convince our teams, our followers, that this is the reality. Nobody imagines. When we do, I remember when we did budgeting last year, nobody imagined that COVID 19 is going to hit us. So if we don’t realize the reality, then it’s going to be very tough to navigate our way towards what we want to.

Fadly Rasyad: So here is also one thing I wanted to share is actually my personal experience is that naturally when we are still young that time we like always hearing the stories from our seniors. From our grand or grandmas, they say that basically life is unpredictable. You just try to enjoy yourself first.

Fadly Rasyad: So if you. If you can accept the reality that basically things are going to change, then you are going to suffer. You won’t be able to enjoy yourself. And I, again, I remember one more thing actually from a message from the ex CEO of Prudential. So he was saying this to us. He said that. Our life is like a three a, our career life is there is this.

Fadly Rasyad: If I can summarize, it’s actually three A’s. So you say it’s three, A’s not three S . So three a means this accept. Okay. Adapt and then achieve. And then I was asking what are this means? So he explained to us that except here means that you have to accept the situation. You have to accept the reality.

Fadly Rasyad: If you cannot accept the reality or the situation, whatever you are doing, you are gonna end up hurting yourself. You’re gonna end up hurting your moral. You’re gonna end up hurting your health. So that’s why many people actually taking MCs. They’re actually going to hospitals, having health problems because they cannot accept the reality and.

Fadly Rasyad: This is actually the first, but the hardest part in our career life, or even in our life itself. So only once you can overcome this reality, you can accept this, that this is the reality. This is the COVID 19 reality. For example, then the next thing is that you will be able to find a way to. So this is actually say, this is the new norms.

Fadly Rasyad: This is the because of the COVID 19. This is the new norms. So find a way on how to adapt or find ways to adapt. Only after you adapt, then you can go to the next stage, which is achieve what you want to do, or what is your dream basically. So once you go to that level, you achieve something, you achieve your goals.

Fadly Rasyad: Then of course it goes back. To the next to previous stage, you have to accept again, new reality. For example if it’s we talk about promotion, you achieve, you get a new promotion, and then after that you, it comes with new responsibilities. It becomes a new reality for you. Do you accept the new reality or not?

Fadly Rasyad: So if you don’t accept, then it’s gonna difficult for you to go to the next journey. So leadership agility here it’s to me it’s actually applicable to. Okay. Although it’s very good for leaders because they are actually like responsible for their teams. And then they’re actually where people are looked up to.

Fadly Rasyad: So by having this kind of mindset, then it’ll help organizations or teams towards trans transition and transformation of agility, because it’s always better. It’s always more effective looking at the. By leading by example. And then the followers will basically easily. Relatively easy to adopt the, some the same mindset.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Accept, adapt, achieve very wise words, especially the accepting part. Yeah. I crack this job with my, one of my clients. The other day, curiosity kills the cat, but expectations kills us. there some expectations that. People are going to be exactly the same as us. Yeah. Is the expectation.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: When I tell you an idea that everyone will be like, wow, yay. What a great idea. And everybody will line up nicely, and everything will happen. Like clockwork, having that expectation is going to mess us up badly, and very consistent. Mean sometimes, whenever leaders they say, oh why can’t my team just see my point of view.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Yeah. How about we accept? We accept that. Whatever you say, whatever you do, there will be a different opinion. Yes,

Fadly Rasyad: exactly. And if

Chuen Chuen Yeo: you accept it, what’s gonna happen. What will we do then instead of asking why and feeling that it is unfair, feeling frustrated. Yeah. Yeah. How do we spend the energy to think about how can we get them to see the same picture?

Fadly Rasyad: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. So it was really a powerful message from our ex CEO last time. And it was actually, I came to know this many years back and I still remember this very deeply.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Yes. So the kind of impact that these three words have on you and how it is even in everyday life. Yeah. Yeah. I also like what you said when you said leadership, agility is for everyone.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Even for individual contributors alone, individual contributors, think that, or subject matter experts think that they don’t have to bother about leadership. However, that’s not true. Because we have to lead

Fadly Rasyad: ourselves. Yeah, exactly. that’s awesome. At least we have family to lead

Chuen Chuen Yeo: oh yes.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Yes. Even like more time I wanna wake up one, my food choices, all these things. I think everyone is motivated in the same way. We all want better. More wealth. Yeah. And better relationships. We all want these three things and accepting adapting, and ultimately achieving will help us get there.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Sorry. It starts in the mindset. So I would like to ask you this next question then. How do you use leadership agility or any of the three A’s or others, other areas to influence stakeholders and lead, especially agile transformations within your organization? Sure.

Fadly Rasyad: All right. Basically I always see, I always tell this to to everyone Especially if people are still mentioning that people are resources.

Fadly Rasyad: So I tell this like this people are not resources. People are not assets. People are people. So let’s look at it this way. The assets means that there is a depreciation over time. The value will depreciated, but people is different. The longer they stay in the. The value that they bring to the company or to the organization is getting more and more.

Fadly Rasyad: So they’re actually more value that brings. So they’re not assets. So when I explain to this to when we talk about agile transition information, I explain to them that people is like that. So what does agility mean here is that we have to respect our people. By having respect to them by really appreciating them.

Fadly Rasyad: Then basically we have achieved one of the very first goal of agile transition and transformation, which is increase employee engagement or increase people’s engagement in your team. So what’s next then after we actually have to like. Share to people change their mindset, and then they’re getting more engaged.

Fadly Rasyad: They’re trying to, they’re starting up to open up to us. So what’s next is that eventually they’re going to take care of our customers. So when the employees or the staffs are becoming highly engaged, Eventually they’ll become more productive and they’re going to take care of our customers, which is actually the next goal of agile transgender transformation.

Fadly Rasyad: Then of course, instead of thinking so much about shareholder value from the beginning, we actually focus on the CU the, our staff who are actually very engaged are going to take care of customers. And then eventually our customers are going to taking care. Shareholder values. So these are the sequence.

Fadly Rasyad: The first thing is that to make agile trans transformation successful is to increase the engagement of the people. How we do that. We have to let people know that we care about them. We actually taking care of our people. We respect them. And then agile is about people. So once we are setting this correct, The foundation is the people.

Fadly Rasyad: And then the next objective increased customer satisfaction and maximum shareholder value will be then achieved. So the sequence are important. That’s why many, there are many agile transient transformation fails because the sequence are not right. So what they put in the first place, normally they do recognize that people are important, but unfortunately, They don’t put people as number one, they put people maybe number three or number four, maybe number.

Fadly Rasyad: So the number one, maybe customer satisfaction or shareholder value first. But actually, unfortunately when we talk about agile, it’s not about platforms. It’s not about tools, and platforms can help, but they’re not the foundation. The foundation is the people, their mindset, the way they relate to each other, the way they behave to each other, what are the values or the ethics that they bring into the teams or into the organizations by having all of these foundations set.

Fadly Rasyad: Then you can go up to the next layer, like for example, talking about framework, talking about tools, platforms, et cetera. So this is actually where I kept explaining to people or to organizations that going through agile, trans and transformation that set the foundation right. Don’t focus so much on tools like DevOps, don’t focus so much on framework, like scrum focus more on the values, the mindset of agility itself.

Fadly Rasyad: What are the mindset? Accept? The reality experiment, things are complex. You cannot predict the future. All of these things we have to realize then be flexible about it. Then only we can start the. Very good.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Very good. I like this so much. I want to clap.

Fadly Rasyad: thank you. Thank you so much. I

Chuen Chuen Yeo: was giggling and chuckling for myself.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: And you said people are not resources, not set. They’re not a number. And I was like going to celebrate when you set the longer a person has been with an organization, the more valuable they should. .

Fadly Rasyad: Yes. Yes,

Chuen Chuen Yeo: exactly. This was exactly what I was telling. One of my managers earlier. I said, you cannot replace an experienced team member with somebody else who is just, fresh out school with zero experience because it is the organization knowledge and the culture.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Yes. Also so important. And to summarize, I think what you said, I really resonate with it. People are our greatest enable. Yes any organization, right? And yes, you are right. 70% of transformations fail because they were focused on looking at other things. They know that people are important.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: And then a lot of that actually say that they respect people. However, the behavior shows otherwise. I think exactly why, what you said as well. You influence people through your behavior, not by the. That you said not by words. Yes. Yeah. Not by the words. There, there was an incident where I spoke with a very senior CC level leader and he said, no, I really care about my staff.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: I wanna develop them. So I would like you to coach one of my staff. I really want to help her grow. And then I asked, I stopped the conversation and I put a pause and I asked, you said that you care very much about this person, but never have, I once heard that you asking your. What does he or she wants and then he stopped.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Oh yeah. So yeah. Why didn’t I think of that? So I think even understanding and fully appreciating, what does this value respect does it really look like sound like, feel like, daily lives a lot. People think that they respect others, however, their behaviors show otherwise.

Fadly Rasyad: Yeah. So it’s not a lip service, basically.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: It’s not, of course we give our best intentions. We wanna grow somebody, but it will make a lot of difference if we shifted to unconditional positive regard. Yes. That’s the highest form of respect where any decisions I’m going to make you are at the center of my decision making process. I’m gonna ask you, what do you want?

Chuen Chuen Yeo: What do you need? What’s important to you instead. I’m the boss or I’m the manager I’m gonna make decisions. And I think it’s best for you. it will have a very different impact. And I think just one subtle shift, it may look like a little step, but like what Tony Robb said, the little steps are not little at all.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: yes. Yeah. Is in the two millimeter shift. Is that one, two minute? Is that a two millimeter shift that all leaders can. Definitely. Yep. Definitely seen work so many times. Awesome. Thanks. So to round out our conversation, I think finally you have so much experience, so what’s your advice to all cultures practitioners out there?

Fadly Rasyad: I want to repeat my first statement earlier because this is actually, if. Here or see the, what agile, the very first thing comes to my mind actually is that life is short. So let’s focus on what are importance in our life. So you don’t have to apply agility just for your organization. Your teams apply to yourself.

Fadly Rasyad: I myself have my own backlog on what I want to do so that I can put. Clear focus on what I want to do and try to achieve that because I know that I have responsibilities to everyone. Not only to myself, have responsibilities to my organization, have responsibility to my family. And again, life is short, nobody knows what’s gonna happen next.

Fadly Rasyad: We cannot predict the future. So let’s enjoy what we have and then focus on what are I.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Very good. Very it’s simple. It sounds very simple, but it’s not easy to do.

Fadly Rasyad: it’s not you focus

Chuen Chuen Yeo: on what important to have one focus and least focus on something. If not, you focus on everything. You focus on nothing.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: Yeah. . I want this. I want there, but oh, come on. We have limited resource. We limited time and limited attention. Yes, exactly. Yes, that’s very good. Wow. It’s good to connect with you. I have this conversation and I’m sure many of the readers viewers are interested to get in touch with FA and to tap on his vast experience in agile transformation.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: I will put funny’s LinkedIn handle in this post and let’s carry on a conversation. Another time looking forward to meeting you in

Fadly Rasyad: person. Thank you so much. Likewise.

Chuen Chuen Yeo: all right. Thank you so much. Thank you.

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