Last Thursday and Friday my team* went to a class on "Leading Change". We took the class because our team is responsible for continuing the culture change toward a more customer connected future for the improvement of developer satisfaction within the developer division and shifts like that don't happen overnight without someone driving the change. Trust me.
What I found most beneficial was the time spent working as a group through the exercises using the tools we were given. For example: We were given time to brainstorm all of the reasons why a change was necessary, two minutes to present these reasons to the class, and then feedback from the other groups that were attending the same class. I found the feedback from 3rd party teams to be refreshing. After being cut off for running over my allotted two minutes on why a change was needed it was clear that people couldn't "feel the fire" and sense the need for change. I scored a 2.5/5. What is so clear in your own head can become hard to convey if not properly thought out and organized. After some re-work I think a convincing case could probably range in the 30 to 60 second mark.
We also found that, for such a large change, we really needed to slice it into more manageable sections or else the enlightened vision, list of stakeholders, etc become to large and convoluted to make much progress. I'm personally excited that we'll be meeting again this week for three hours to refine the plan for change that we started in class. I'll blog some of what we come up with. I know there is no perfect formula for change, but I think we all valued the time spent thinking about the problems in such a concentrated fashion.
* "My team" is now called the "Community Connection Team" that is part of the "Developer Division Engineering Excellence Team".