An excerpt from the book The Transition Game, written by CFOLC Co-Chair Greg Olney. For more information on Olney, scroll down.

I had a great idea for implementing “agile” methodologies at my place of employment. Agile methodology was primarily software related in its infancy, but I adapted it for our product-related team. I knew when I walked in that if we were to turn our team around from being statistically the last in the country, we needed the team to be active and nimble. They had to handle the complexity inherent with the development projects they would be facing. They had to value a working product, client collaboration, and they had to respond to change well.

We based our external product team on 12 principles:

  1. Satisfying the client through early and continuous delivery of valuable service
  2. Deploying service packs
  3. Providing working updates within the first 30 days
  4. Working together with clients, our product team, tier 1, and developers
  5. Giving the right environment and support to motivated and educated individuals
  6. Realizing face to face conversations as the most efficient and effective
  7. Using a workable product as a primary measure of progress
  8. Educating our clients
  9. Investing attention to technical excellence and good design
  10. Making the process simple for clients
  11. Building self-organizing teams around positions instead of specific people
  12. Becoming more effective through iteration retrospectives

These principles went into great detail and I’m doing a slight injustice by explaining this in such a topical fashion. I had built a terrific presentation and I scheduled and held a meeting with my boss. Unfortunately, if he could have yawned out loud, he would have, and I noticed. He neither understood this approach nor embraced it. He rejected the ideas as useless. I was convinced that the methodology would work to turn our region around from last to first, and it did. I found myself breaking down the ideas and implementing each value, principle, condition, and role separately. I still have that presentation today because I use it effectively in different ways. A number of items in that presentation even helped me write my first book.

What this process taught me was that someone can take away the face of the idea, but he can’t take away the basic structure of a working solution. If I were to worry about what others would have thought, we would not have turned our team around in almost every performance measurement to number 1 or number 2 in each.

About The Author

Greg Olney is CFO and Head of Change Management at Glazing Concepts Inc, and also Co-Chair of CFOLC’s Orange County chapter.  He has over 30 years in management of Finance, Operations, Client Service, Project Management, and IT with companies ranging from multi-million dollars to multi-billion dollars.  He has consulted with large and small businesses to create new departments, improve service, develop people, and “projectize” organizations.  He has expertise in developing people through programs involving Project Management, Leadership, Business Motivation, and industry-centric areas.  He has authored books centered around change management – The Transition Game, Commitment to Change, Why Change Fails, and (yet to be released) Restoration. All of these books describe the model he built about the transitional movement from the status quo to each person’s and organization’s commitment to change.  His purpose is to affect change in others so that they can do great things.

About The CFO Leadership Council

The CFO Leadership Council offers both live & online programs that feature expert panels and interactive sessions that drive meaningful conversation and leadership development among our membership. Our collection of leadership development resources similar to this article contain pragmatic insights and advice sourced directly from our members and industry experts.  Recordings of CFOLC webcasts are made available to our current CFOLC Premium & Virtual members. Learn about our three-tiered membership options visit www.cfolc.com.

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