Recently, I have been invited to share my 3 years Thoughtworks Journey, at “Impact Series” by Social Change Group TW, India.
“Striving for positive social change is at the heart of our purpose, culture and work” — /thoughtworks
I believe an impactful change is the change that changes you, and any social change start from within, our own journey. I shared my change journey, and received number of comments, and feedbacks. Fellow thoughtworkers, shared their views on how my impact stories is impactful for them, and I thought of sharing the same to wider audience. This is a continuation of last year’s journey.
My Theory of Change
Change is the only constant, doesn’t matter we like it or not it take place. First step of a change journey is to accept the change, for acceptance we need to analyse impact of the change, and know what are anchors (things that blocks your path) and engines (things that let you move) for the change. Some the baggage you carry may blocks your path, read about success bias in my earlier article change to become more successful.
Next step after acceptance is Observe, it helps to navigate through the change, and learn on the go. Don’t react to situations too soon, give some time, observe them more. Start Absorbing things that are aligned, you need to believe in the change, and then become the change. This theory has helped me navigate through my Thoughtworks journey, continue reading…
Check the ground - Believe in the change
Initial days of Thoughtworks (TW), when I was asked to meet lot people in the organization, and I was just observing what people are saying and why are they saying so, you get lot of advice, opinions on do this, do that. I was checking the ground of TW, and TW was checking mine. It was huge change for the me to absorb and believe in. You will get lot of new terms, and focus on social capital. To believe in the TW more, I asked operations for a project where I can start as a developer and see things on ground. To my surprise, I was allowed, and appreciated for my decision. Luckily I was able to contribute well there (I think so :), — based on feedback, that’s very important part here)
While observing things on ground, I absorbed TW practices, culture, and become a TWer. I learned that we own our own journey, we need to define it and travel it, the way we want. You can only lead with your influence here, and not with your title or designation. Democratic decisions at different levels, autonomy at ground, and leaders needs to work more as enablers, and many more.. you may find more on it in my earlier article.
Opinions Matters — Build your own brand
Opinions are flowing like anything, we will hear and talking about it a lot here, everyone has opinions, and you are asked to share your opinion too. On the floor, you will find people, who are speaking at conferences, sharing about books, writers of books, and sharing their thoughts and more. To matchup, I started reading books, and get addicted to writing too. I realized that I have mentored and trained so many people in past but never shared things to improve my one knowledge and my social brand value. I started writing on Medium, and then setup my personal blog site
Kuldeep’s Space — the world of learning, sharing, and caring — thinkuldeep.com
It is now a home of 100+ articles on technology, motivational, take-aways and events. I started writing for me, without really too much worrying about audience like, how would they feel? and started getting very good response from people. Just like social media addiction, reading, writing and sharing is also an addiction, a good addition to go for. My articles start getting good traction and so far published for ThoughtWorks Insights, DZone, LinkedIn Pulse, XR Practices Publication, German Magazine TechTag.de, AnalyticsVidhya Magazine, and DataQuest India.
Sharing thoughts, opinion with others has not only helped me creating my brand value at Thoughtworks and outside, but also helped me to navigate through another important change coming next..
What is your WHY? — Bring the purpose
‘Why’ is so commonly used word here, be it discussing business with client, or starting a new project, or scaling the organization. People ask Why? Even we ask, Why does Thoughtworks exists? So it becomes a culture to focus on purpose for everything we do. This helped me to think, what is my Why? why do I need to share? whom should I be sharing with? etc.
I started collaborating more with students and enthusiasts needing guidance, by judging and mentoring them in hackathons, conducting guest lectures, webinars for universities and communities. Built a community of 500 thoughtworkers and socially connected with 1000s of enthusiasts outside Thoughtworks by contributing at Nasscom, The VRAR Association, TechGig, Great International Developer Summit (GIDS), Google DevFests and more. People ask me how did I do it, answer is, it is result of the change I described in last section.
One more thing that changed my view about life, is when I got chance to mentor Julie at PeriFerry. Thoughtworks does talk about diversity, inclusion and social justice, but experiencing it on ground is life changing. Social contribution at IndeedFoundation, dreamentor.in also gives me a purpose to my work. Bring purpose and balance in life, it helps us passing the difficult years that demands changes.
Agility in leadership — Use your strength
Recently I read an forbes article, that tells how important it is to train your leaders to drive the agile transformation. Thoughtworks understand it well. I am participating in a leadership development program. It has not only connected me with global leaders in the organization but also helped me in changing my perspective. Learned about stakeholder mapping, prioritizations, delegation, time management, difficult conversation, effective communication and more.
The topic of navigating through organization politics was very interesting, it has changed my perspective about politics. I have shared few learning about coaching — coaching is not what you think. I have learned about my strengths and how can I use them well to expand my leadership skills. Before this, I never thought about the things that are so natural to me are actually my strengths eg. Adaptability, Action oriented, Connectedness etc. It also helped me to know about side effects of my strengths or the blind spots where I need to be little conscious when applying my strength.
Another best part was Personal Brand Exercise, that helps me define “Me Now” and “Me Next” and plan around it.
With this, I would like to conclude this reflection of 3 years journey with statement that I saw recently at a hospital while getting vaccinated.
We can’t change the time so it’s time to change ourself.
This article is originally published at Medium