Thursday, August 23, 2018

Spicy Octopus Dumplings and Risk Mitigation

In an earlier video – I mentioned that I purchased a bag of spicy octopus dumplings.

Let’s say that I want to serve spicy octopus dumplings to my friends – Mary, Dave, June, and Mike.

The Spicy Octopus Dumplings are the change. Mary, Dave, June, and Mike are the people in the organization.

If we want to serve Spicy Octopus Dumplings to our friends (or…make a change to the org), it helps to figure out whether the people in the organization (or my friends) are ready for the change (or, in this case, for the spicy octopus dumplings).

I am going to assume that none of my friends have ever had spicy octopus dumplings before.

To evaluate the potential success of the meal, I am going to break down the components.

For spicy octopus dumplings, we need to ask whether:

  • The individual likes (or can at least tolerate) spicy food.
  • The individual has tried, likes, or can tolerate) octopus.
  • If they haven’t tried octopus before, do they like seafood?
  • The individual has tried and likes dumplings.

I’m going to add whether the person has tried and liked other forms of Korean food to this questionnaire. If the person is familiar with the flavor profile of Korean food, they are more likely to accept the change.

Mary – loves spicy food, has tried and liked octopus at the local sushi joint, and thinks dumplings are awesome.  She hasn’t had Korean food before, but she’s an adventurous eater.  The spicy octopus dumplings shouldn’t be a problem.

Dave – likes spicy food and loves dumplings.  He’s never had octopus before, but he likes other forms of seafood. And he’s never tried Korean food, but he’s willing to try. He also has a high likelihood of liking the spicy octopus dumplings.

June – likes dumplings and is OK with some forms of seafood – white fish is ok, but things like clams, oysters and strong tasting fish are not. She also doesn’t tolerate spicy food and thinks that octopus is disgusting. She’s also very suspicious of Korean food and is not going to try it voluntarily. Spicy Octopus dumplings are going to be a harder sell.

And Mike’s entire diet is hamburgers, fries and diet cokes.

If the organization is mostly filled with Marys and Daves as we attempt to implement the spicy octopus dumpling change, you are likely going to be ok.

You can reduce some of the risk of rejection by introducing them to Korean food and Octopus.

And since Mary already enjoys octopus, she can help Dave with acceptance.

It helps if YOU have experience with and are a fan of Korean food if you are trying to implement the spicy octopus dumpling change.  This will help guide the rest of the organization with NO experience and provide a safe space for trying out this new thing.

But what if your organization is filled with Junes and Mikes?

You have a mismatch between your organization and the change you wish to create.

You will likely need to adjust.

Maybe you can have leek dumplings as your change instead?  You are still serving dumplings – but it is not spicy, not octopus, and generally pretty mild.  And if June likes Chinese food, you have a much higher chance of succeeding.

But you still have Mike. How much do you need to accommodate Mike?

  • Is he a senior executive or CEO?
  • Can you provide an alternative that does not impact the baseline change you need to make?
  • Do we even have to dis-invite Mike to make this change happen?
  • Or do we have to give up on the change altogether?

The answers and solution depend on your circumstances.

No matter what – keep an eye on WHY you are making the change.

If your goal is to have a nice dinner with friends – maybe a burger and fries will work after all.

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