hero is Bilbo the Hobbit. In the plane on the way to New Zealand I decided to re-watch The Hobbit. Ben, the airline attendant, asked what I was watching. I jokingly said I was doing research. We both had a chuckle and I went back to watching the movie. It was the beginning of the movie and the dwarves were descending on Bilbo's house. As I watched it all unfold, I realized that I might have been telling more of the truth than I'd realized when I said I was doing research. Let me set the scene for you.
Bilbo is at home, surrounded by the things he'd come to cherish. Mostly family heirlooms: things he'd inherited from his mother and generations before her. Everything had its place and every place had its thing.
the dwarves barge into his house. Uninvited. They begin eating his food. All of his food. Piles and piles of food. Bilbo watches in growing horror as his beautiful home is invaded and destroyed. At the end of the meal the dwarves begin the cleanup process. "That's not a dishcloth, it's a doily!" Bilbo cries. He is barely able to contain himself as the dwarves begin throwing his mother's good dishes. The dishes are literally bounced from one dwarf to another as he watches in horror. Finally able to look into the dining room, Bilbo is greeted with a pile of washed, piled, and perfectly intact plates.
and his house is in exactly the order it was before the dwarves arrived (minus some food, of course). Bilbo now must decide: should he follow the dwarves into a grand adventure, or stay at home, where there is more history than future? Bilbo chooses adventure. And hopefully you will too.
change is business as usual. Any time you build a new Drupal site you are effectively becoming a mini **change agent**. I'm going try to balance my remarks to include lessons that can be applied to: - the Drupal community as it undergoes the transformation from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8; - non-community projects you are working on.
which you might not have heard previously. It's only recently that I've come to know there is an entire stream of business consultancy focused on change, called Change Management. To be honest: change fascinates me because transformations are difficult. Those who know me won't be surprised if I say that I'm a little bit addicted to stress. Implementing change in large organizations, or communities, is perhaps one of the most stressful things you can put employees through. I have watched, and been part of, several massive organizational transformations. None of them were without tension and staff anxiety.
This interest in transformations is a big part of what draws me to adult education. Yes, I like to teach people things, but what I really love is helping someone transform their relationship with a piece of software from anger and frustration to acceptance and possibly mastery. I hate it when people feel enfeebled by the technology they are forced to use; I want people to feel in control and conﬁdent when they sit down to use their computer. Change management resonates with me because of the transformation element.
organizations to a desired future state. wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_management Change management. It’s an actual thing. You can get an MBA in “leadership and change management”. Change management is an approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations to a desired future state.
process. Change management transformations generally are a four-step process: - identify the **crux of the problem**; - **create a new vision** for what the future looks like, and plan the steps needed to get there; - **implement the steps** necessary to reach the desired future state; - **review and monitor** progress, making reﬁnements to the process as necessary.
design, Drupal does not have a single vision. Dries has road maps, names initiative leaders, and shares cat herding duties with core maintainers. We have core principles, but there is not a single deﬁnition of what the mission statement is for Drupal. Each initiative lead has a mini vision, but time and dependencies sometimes get in the way. Having an overarching mission would be almost counter to how our project is run. We don’t have a dictator leading the project; our lack of a single, uniﬁed, community-owned vision is by design.
The discipline of change management acknowledges the role of emotion for the people undergoing a transformative process. Indeed, there are many references in change management literature referencing the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s ﬁve stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. Perhaps some of these stages feel familiar to you. The model is contested, but my point is that emotions happen. Change management does not ask us to put away our emotions, but rather, asks us to provide the support necessary for those who are undergoing the transformation.
the following are included: - the change beneﬁts the leaders - stakeholders understand **why** the change is necessary - training is included in the roll-out plan - resistance is acknowledged and countered to align employees with the overall strategic direction of the organization - personal counselling is provided to alleviate fears - monitoring and ﬁne tuning is applied
community does a good job of many of these pieces. We are an incredibly welcoming and friendly community. We support one another. We talk through our differences in the issue queue, and on IRC. (Although if you're new, it is overwhelming.) I think we do a particularly good job of acknowledging resistance (the Developer Experience initiative); personal counselling (private conversations in IRC); monitoring and ﬁne tuning the roll-out.
There is so much stuff happening that I think it becomes easy to forget the vision for what Drupal 8 will be. To me: Drupal 8 is the modernization of our infrastructure. All of the work that I've seen is about bringing our product up-to-date by modern web standards and best practices. Others may have a different vision though. I went looking for a Mission Statement for Drupal and I couldn’t ﬁnd it. (I could insert a joke here about how $mission was removed in Drupal 7, but I won’t.) I found core principles of Drupal; and the tag line “come for the code; stay for the community”. The mission statement should be our mantra. It should be the thing we all raleigh behind and believe in from the inside out.
right in the creation of Drupal 8. - We have maintained transparency in our communication. - We have responded to resistance with the Developer Experience initiative. - We have moved our deadlines to accommodate our community, and to ensure the software is the best it can be. There is so much good, that I can can be only proud of the work that's been done to date.
leap instantly to Drupal 8. Indeed, the larger the site, the more likely it is that the site will skip a version of Drupal (start odd; stay odd). The roll-out will come with time, but to gain the greatest advantage, we must be ready for everyone. We would be wise to look at established processes on how to implement massive change.
crux; vision; implement; review and monitor. Those who are responsible for leading change have a few more things to consider. Kotter gives us the following steps for leaders: 1. Create urgency. 2. Form a powerful coalition. 3. Create a vision for change. 4. Communicate the vision. 5. Remove obstacles. 6. Create short-term wins. 7. Build on the change. 8. Anchor the change in corporate culture. Let’s take a look at each of these stages individually.
know that Drupal 8 is coming and they will need to skill up. As the rollout begins, implementors will need to decide if now is the right time to upgrade or switch to Drupal. The better prepared we are, the easier it will be for people to want to implement their own changes.
we've done this. We have a wonderful core development team. We have an amazing core mentoring program. We may not have all of the education pieces in place yet, but we do have our subject matter experts, and community leaders.
I think this is where we start to drift. People are becoming fearful of the upcoming changes because they do not yet buy into the vision. Developers know they need to make changes to their code. They may even have started digging into **how** to upgrade their code. But the **why** is missing, and has left a void which is being ﬁlled with Denial and Anger. Their anxiety has spilled out into other areas, where it threatens to become FUD which spreads wider than the Drupal community into our users and implementors.
has experience **removing obstacles for people** through the Developer Experience Initiative. There may be more obstacles as we roll out the software to the larger community. Providing training will help to remove some of these obstacles, but we cannot provide training without a system to build the training for. It is a Catch-22, but it demonstrates we have a culture of iteration and constant improvement.
the most difficult piece, which I think is missing: the reason why. The "why" is important because the more clearly you tell me where you are going, the easier it is for us to ﬁgure out how to get there. In other words: the vision must come before you pick the direction to travel. (If you know you want hot beaches, don't head to Wellington in June.) The small wins are necessary for change management to succeed are impossible if you cannot recognize them as wins. And without small wins, you are unlikely to retain your volunteers. If, every time you sit down to work with Drupal, you feel like you're losing, why *would* you stick around? Why would you? Because ... it’s rewarding to work towards something.
In contrast, the most innovative organizations give their people something to work toward." Simon Sinek "Average companies give their people something to work on. In contrast, the most innovative organizations give their people something to work toward." Simon Sinek
products and services are related to Drupal education, and the creation of exceptional experiences for adult learners. My topic is Drupal because there are a lot of "easy" obstacles I can help people to overcome.
involved? Why were you motivated to attend this conference? #dsw2014 If you're feeling shy about participating because you're new to the community, let me remind you of a lesson from our superhero Hobbit, Bilbo.
... the reason he stays on the quest is his commitment to home. "You don't belong anywhere," he says to one of the dwarves. Bilbo ﬁrst sees where the dwarves live now, and realizes they don't belong "anywhere" because they have lost their home, something Bilbo cherishes. This is both an observation of the group, and of himself.
discovering your own **why** it becomes easier to see how you might help others on their quest. It becomes not just "what would you _like_ to do" but rather a much more powerful "what do you **need** to do to be happy".
think about your why, let's come back to Drupal and our change management challenge. https://drupal.org/principles Modular & extensible; quality coding; standards-based; low resource demands; open source; ease of use; collaboration. “Come for the software, stay for the community.” If I were to create a Golden Circle for Drupal the community, it might look like this: **Why** => ??? In Drupal 7, I'd say the "why" had to do with the community and participation; but in Drupal 8, I feel like the modernization of the infrastructure came before the community...and the community pushed back. To grow the capacity of web developers. My **why** is to understand, transform, and remove obstacles to achieve a state of flow. **How** => Drupal attracts new developers and users by providing modern web developers with an open, easy-to-use, scaleable framework. **What** => mobile-ﬁrst, standards-compliant, programming best practices If we cannot deﬁne the why, how can we effectively create a vision for the future, and a
a Golden Circle for Drupal the community, it might look like this: **Why** => Drupal believes that growth is good, and must be supported. **How** => The Drupal community supports growth by creating an infrastructure which can scale for its users needs. Drupal grows its own community by soliciting help in developing a modern web framework. **What** => We release new versions of Drupal to attract new interest, and especially new developers. But what if my “why” for Drupal isn’t your why for Drupal? If we cannot deﬁne Drupal’s WHY as a community, how can we effectively create a vision for the future, and a corresponding implementation plan? How can we roll-out success, when we can't even deﬁne it for ourselves. Why are you here. Why are you giving up your weekend to be part of this thing called Drupal?
other CMS, around 2007 this is why: I believed in the companies I was build web sites for. I believed in their ability and capacity to scale, and with Drupal's ecosystem of contributed modules, I believed that Drupal was the only platform which could support the speed and breadth of a company's ability to scale for small businesses. I don't believe this is the right "why" for Drupal leading into D8. I think the infrastructure requirements will be greater, and the learning curve steeper. I don't think that makes it a good or bad product, I simply think the why has changed. But maybe the WHY is right. I said the WHY was: Drupal believes that growth is good, and must be supported. - The infrastructure requirements have grown. - We are modernizing the framework to attract more developers. Growth before stability. Growth does not mean standing still. (Limits to growth is a completely different rabbit hole that I’m not going to go into now.)
around to The Hobbit example that I started with. The scene where the dwarves are throwing dishes is the perfect analogy to me. The heirlooms are being thrown around. We know they are brittle. What is happening to our history? - Ask yourself: are you a dwarf, or are you a hobbit? - Are you looking for your home? - Is your WHY transparent to the hobbits? - And if you are a hobbit, do you know your own WHY? - How can you use your WHY to help the dwarves to achieve theirs? Time for a little bit of radical imagination.
a little bit exciting, but also hard, I don't blame you. To be honest, I'm more of a HOW person, myself. I'm good at micro changes, and processes to get from a deﬁned state to a desired future state. But I'm not very good at radical imagining.