Whose responsibility is client change anyhow?

I came across this interesting comment the other day on LinkedIn and have been thinking about it long and hard.

“ScrumMasters & Agile Coaches need this skill to have ANY chance of succeeding :

*To be able to INFLUENCE*”

Jem D’jelal (see the full LinkedIn post here)

And personally, I don’t think I agree with this comment.

Specifically, as a contractor (which I have been for 20 years now), I actually feel there is something a little *perverse* about being brought in as an external developer/business analyst/project manager/scrum master/coach etc – but then being asked or expected to influence the organisation to change or act and do things in a certain “new way”.

(nb. I’ve experienced this a lot in my public sector roles and am coming around to the idea what’s usually going on is something like “organisational scapegoating…”)

Isn’t it actually their responsibility to take ownership and “influence themselves” into improving?  I have a toolbox with a lot of things to offer the client in satisfying their own needs, but my real deployment of influence is reserved for everything related to my own Ltd company, my own personal sphere of influence and personal well-being, and of course the shareholders of my company.

[Have you heard about the 5 Colors of Change by Léon de Caluwé and Hans Vermaak? It’s a framework that illustrates the different approaches to change. The typical civil service way of influence and change is Yellow-Print, where as the usual Business Analyst follows something more like a Blue-Print approach – which, if true, automatically pits one against the other in natural style…]

Isn’t this the truth of the matter?  Or do I simply see the world with a different lens than others around me.


Frank Ray

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