Step two: Create immersive working environments
In order to amplify the “swarming” effect noted in the previous section, it’s important to provide an immersive working environment that enables coalitions and pods to learn and develop the skills they will need to successfully work in the future state.
These environments, sometimes referred to as Dojos, are what we call Immersive Working Environments (IWEs or simply “immersion”).
At Rangle, we like the immersion model because its “learn by doing” approach provides the fastest and most powerful way to help pods make the transition to the future state through experiential learning.
In an IWE, coalitions and pods work together on real-world outcomes and develop new skills using repetition to build tacit knowledge. This immersive and experiential approach is quite different (and dare we say, better) than traditional training in the sense that training rarely builds tacit knowledge. Training is generally short-term, generic and lacking in real-world context. Immersion is long-term, and uses real-world challenges and repetition to build tacit knowledge over a period of six to twelve weeks.
Moreover, in an IWE, coalitions and pods are always advised, taught, and mentored by deeply experienced product, process and technology coaches. Coaching is incredibly important for newly forming teams working on uncertain outcomes. By providing persistent access to coaches, newly formed teams are always able to access deep domain knowledge that they otherwise would not have at their disposal. Through this model, teams may choose to pair with coaches for several days of training before they start a new initiative, while at other times, they may ask the coaches to facilitate discovery or improvement workshops to help them find the best path forward.
Working this way can provide a number of benefits for coalitions and pods as they move toward the future state. Through IWEs, coalitions and pods have dedicated time to not only build new capabilities, test new processes, and try new tools, but they also have coaching to help them find the path of least resistance through the many obstacles and constraints they will encounter along the way. Lastly, because IWEs emphasize repetition, coalitions and pods are able to harden their knowledge quickly and share that learning in other areas of the organization.