I am currently studying the interview of an agile coach about his transformation work in a small company.
„Walking into fog“ stands for one of the core challenges of the change process here. The „fog“ depicts the fact that we just don’t know what will come in the future, how it will impact me and my life. Interestingly, for many people this possible future is negative (not for all – I will post another finding what makes the difference), so they feel insecure and this can lead into inertia, passiveness and resistance.
The leadership challenge here is quite a big one: It is the invitation for people to „walk into fog“ when he or she doesn’t even know what will come of it. From the case analysed, this invitation is not about incentives and money to keep people motivated. It is about psychological re-contracting, at stake is the emotional agreement or better: the commitment of each one to follow through and be open to experiment.
In my experience, this process of emotional re-contracting starts at the top: The management team. When facing hard times, are they acting as a team, pulling together or are they fighting and protecting their domains?
Change managers have to deal not only with their own insecurity and overcome it but also need to be close to the people, accompany, listen and convince. In my case study, an agile approach with regular time boxes for process reflection with a peer coach supports to deal with this challenge.