I know the term Frozen Middle might be foreign to some of you. But you all probably understand the concept.

In most transformations, there's some element of grassroots inertia. And that may become before or after that top leadership support.

Either way, there's often this group in the middle that are not brought along very well, they might resist or they might feel squeezed.

There are lots of reasons they might be frozen. But the impact of that middle management not being bought into the transformation is that teams don't feel supported, they don't feel empowered, often hire the highest priority, systemic impediments are addressed as quickly as they could be. And in general, they can cause a lot of churn in the culture of of any organisation really.

This week in Project:Ignite, we talked through two aspects of this challenge.

The why behind that Frozen Middle.

And secondly, the solutions to help that frozen middle thought out if you will, there are a tonne of ways to bring people along on a change. But we need to seek first to understand why those folks are stuck. Sometimes they're unclear on their role. Frankly, I think we haven't done a great job as agilists.

Trying to help make sure that that's clear. For example, we talk so much about empowering teams, but in real life, that can be so much harder to do than it seems like on the surface.

Sometimes those folks are too busy fighting fires to feel like they really have time to lead the change. And sometimes they frankly just don't see the value in making the change.

Whatever it is, we need to seek first to understand what's keeping those folks in what feels like that frozen state.

And then let's solution together some experiments on what can move them forward or at least try. So check out the full recording for ideas on what solutions worked in other organisations. And we'll see you next week for another great Project:Ignite session.

About the Author

I aim to make the planet happier, one organization at a time. I believe we should love what we do and the teams we work with. Through leadership and team coaching, my goal is to create great work cultures and help people find joy every day. This naturally results in more creativity, innovation and productivity.

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