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Q 4 Linda Rising: abstraction level of patterns

 
Gian Franco
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Dear author,

The title of your book mentions patterns
and relates them to change. For what level
are those patterns intented: technical,
organizatorial, etc?

Cheers,

Gian Franco Casula
 
Lasse Koskela
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Social?
 
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Lasse Koskela:
Social?


Yep.

You can get a summary of all the patterns from http://www.cs.unca.edu/~manns/intropatterns.html
 
Linda Rising
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Hi,

Thanks for the question!

Patterns are a way of capturing a recurring solution to a problem in a particular context. They document good ideas about -- well, about anything! The patterns in the book Fearless Change are to be used by change agents -- people who want to see things done differently in teams and organizations. They are patterns about behavior. They are based on the experiences of successful developers and also on research in several areas including social psychology.

Some of these patterns actually came from my own experience in introducing patterns into my organization back in 1994. I began to see then that it doesn't matter if you have the greatest technical ideas unless you can successfully enlist others in using these ideas in your organization. I have been developing these patterns (with the help of many others including my co-author, Mary Lynn Manns), since 1994.
 
friso dejonge
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whoao,lost my earlier reply,
The list of patterns is surely nice to read and it sounds like another book like 'how to influence people....'
Maybe that book was less IT oriented.

One issue i have is that all those tactics start to look like politics where you can get even the worst idea implemented.
 
Linda Rising
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This is an important point!! People have a long history of adopting some poor ideas and rejecting some good ones! There's also considerable research to show that influence stratgies work regardless of the quality of the idea.

The point the book makes is this: if you have a good idea, you want to be sure that you are using the best strategies to introduce it because of the two dangers I have just outlined. You can't believe, in other words, that just because your idea is a good one, that this alone will help you and you also can't believe that the idea will "sell" itself.

We like to believe that we are "logical" decision makers, when the reality is, we make decisions, even technical ones, based on emotion. Just bring up the topic of "the best" programming language in a group of "logical" programmers :-)!

The message of history is clear: you must prepare yourself to not only find good ideas but to make sure you know the strategies for successful introduction.

To avoid learning these strategies simply because they are political means that you are handing power to those who know them. There is no way of avoiding politics if you are working with groups of people. Use strategies that have been shown to work. There is plenty of evidence to show that people are hardwired to make decisions based on these strategies.

Again, this is an important topic, and, I believe, the most important point the book makes.
 
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Linda Rising:
We like to believe that we are "logical" decision makers, when the reality is, we make decisions, even technical ones, based on emotion. Just bring up the topic of "the best" programming language in a group of "logical" programmers :-)!


There is one quotation in the book that really stuck with me:


Facts are usefull; they give the concious mind something to do while the emotions decide what's true. - Dale Dauten
 
Linda Rising
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The trap we all have to watch out for is the myth of logical decision-making. When we believe that we make decisions based on logic, then we try to use logic to convince others of our good ideas.

We need to find out where the pain lies. We have a pattern called Personal Touch that says that each person we want to convince has problems to solve. Help that person by showing how your good idea can be used to address those problems.

In the process you will also help convince yourself that the idea really works!
 
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by friso dejonge:
The list of patterns is surely nice to read and it sounds like another book like 'how to influence people....'


I think it's more than that - the whole book certainly doesn't feel like "how to make the others do what you want" to me.

This becomes most obvious in the chapter about dealing with resistance - it mostly discusses how you can use it constructively, to make sure that your idea doesn't only fit *your* needs, but also those of the organization and the other people in it.
 
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