Interview with Morgan Martins, Institute of Physics

How to deal with DevOps culture change: 5 steps to build a behavioral framework

JAX Editorial Team

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You’d think that changing behaviors in order to change culture is a breeze — it’s actually a hurricane. In this interview, Morgan Martins explains why cultural change is difficult and how the Behavioral Framework can be used to implement behavioral changes.

JAXenter: Cultural change is difficult. Why would companies need to change their culture and how would they do it?

Morgan Martins: Any organization that is serious about their ambition to be quicker to market needs to have the correct cultural mindset. We can have all the right processes, and strategy, and toolchain, but if we don’t have the right mindset across the organization, then we’re not really able to reap the rewards of that fine-tuned strategy and plan.

It’s people that drive a company, a project, a product… Not workstreams! Not a business plan. The way to approach cultural change can start with applying agile to HR; with better internal communications, but ultimately it needs to address people’s behaviors and this will be the focus of my session.

JAXenter: Which has a better chance at success, a top-down initiative to change the corporate culture or a bottom-up one?

Morgan Martins: Ah. It’s both! You need to create a perfect and beautiful storm. Not top-down, not bottom-up, you need to come from both sides and at the same time.

JAXenter: What do you mean by a Behavioral Framework? How can a company build a successful one?

Morgan Martins: Behavioural Framework is a mapping of desired actions, attitudes and mindset that we want to change in our organization. It can be divided into different streams, for example, a Continous Improvement stream will outline the behavior and mindset from level 1 (starter) to a level 3 where the desired behavior is now natural.

Support enough people to achieve level 5 across different streams and cultural change will be successful.

Building a behavioral framework is very straightforward:

  • Look at your digital transformation goals
  • Identify the key behavior needs of your organization to achieve the transformed level
    • Is this a continuous improvement mindset? Lean mindset? Some organizations arrange their wanted behaviors around these as well: Respect, Empathy, Pride and efficiency!
    • Typical wanted behaviors are:
      • I will look for ways to do things better
      • I will actively listen, showing that I value others’ input and opinions
  • Establish support to be made available to staff, some organizations are moving into providing Microtraining – short and small slots of training made available to people when they needed it.
  • Engage with Managers to support the rollout.
  • Roll out to the organization with HR and leadership support.

JAXenter: What is the biggest hurdle in implementing a big change like this?

Morgan Martins: Biggest one? Lack of enthusiasm! People underestimate the power of enthusiasm in the ability to galvanize an organization. You need to show the end goal, the why, but at the end of the day, you need to call everyone to action.

JAXenter: What does a successfully implemented behavioral framework look like to you?

Morgan Martins: One where organizational culture is fit to deliver and sustain digital transformation. One where culture is always improving, not needed to have a reset every 7 or 10 years!

JAXenter: What will attendees be able to take away from your session at JAX DevOps?

Morgan Martins: All of the above and more, I hope they will leave with a clear idea and bullet points on how to lead cultural change in their organization!

Thank you very much!

Morgan Martins will be delivering one talk at JAX DevOps 2018 which will focus on how you can build a Behavior Framework for your organization to implement behavioral changes.

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