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EAU Scientific Newsletter #3

Dealing with psychopaths and narcissists during Agile Change and why it matters

Understanding human dynamics is critical to accelerating change in the company. Last edition, we talked about organizational patterns, and Dave Snowden did a masterful job of that. Today we talk about a taboo topic for many companies.

Do you know what a narcissist or psychopath is and how it affects your organization’s flexibility and adaptability? Unless you’re a healthcare professional, you probably can’t diagnose one, but you may have encountered a few while supporting your organization through change.

The question of whether there's a narcissist or psychopath in an organization
has profound implications for how the organization functions and what 
structures and safeguards should be in place to ensure a high level
of organizational health

Erich R. Bühler, 2019

Let me tell you some of my personal stories and give you some context. In 2007, I was working in London as a Scrum Coach. I was called in by a well-known company to help them with one of their teams because there was no healthy dynamic there. Something that in principle could be a normal day for any consultant in an organization. But what happened there changed my career, my perspective on change, and got me working on new models focused on organizational health. 

Organizational health is psychological safety and the creation of 
sustainable business value over time

Leading Exponential Change (Erich R. Bühler), 2018

In a world of accelerated markets (or what we call exponential change), you need 3 things to stay in the game: 

  1. Understand how change affects people and how to adapt to it faster.
  2. Have structures in place that ensure a high level of organizational health
  3. Pay attention to the social dynamics

If the organization isn’t in sustained health, the impact of market disruptions will increase internal conflict and power dynamics within the organization, and eventually, people will consciously or unconsciously turn away from the strategy.

This can be a major challenge for any leader who wants to be at the helm of a company that needs to create exceptional products and services, but it’s also a challenge for employees.

Psychopaths, for example, have a high level of empathy and feelings for themselves but not for others. As such, they play a crucial role in how social dynamics and power relationships develop. And it’s here that we must begin to understand where the unhealthy dynamics arise in an organization and why.

In this issue, we’ve converted a 2019 article to audio that contains some of the keys for change consultants to understand the psyche of a narcissist or psychopath and the potential implications for someone trying to influence change.


—->Click here to watch the video in English<—-

(para ver el video en Español, puedes hacer Clic aquí)

Our Coming Courses from the Enterprise Agility University

For many of you, the beginning of the year is planning for the next few months in terms of careers and courses.

We’re pleased to announce that in January we’ll continue our Certified Change Consultant courses in various parts of the world. If you’re in a time zone near the Trainers, we invite you to connect with them and give your career in organizational change a boost with the coming remote Trainings.

Agustin Varela (Perú), Spanish

Daniela Imaña and Johana Chuquino (Bolivia, Perú), Spanish

Greg Pitcher (New Zealand), English

Sandip Rananavare (Australia), English

Walter Shraiber (Argentina, Practia), Spanish

From Enterprise Agility University, we hope you found our scientific newsletter useful, and we’ll see you next week.

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