The leader of the agile change initiative, Lee (all names have been changed) would meet with his executive sponsor Chris monthly to provide "status reports" on the transformation. Every month Chris would review the report and ask a few good questions and if there was anything he can do to help. Then he would close the meeting with "Keep up the good work!" and "Go forth and transform!"
Lee left every meeting thinking, "He has no idea what it will actually take to transform. What can I do to further this transformation without having to first make executives like Chris understand the broader implications?"
Lee knew the executive sponsor was too busy to make the time to lead the transformation "from the front"; that’s why Lee was hired on in the first place. All of the IT executives had attended the "Agile Overview" training when their organization started its journey three years previous, so Lee didn’t think more training was the answer. When Lee talked to his peer in the Finance group about changing how initiatives were funded to allow the teams to adapt more quickly, they agreed that neither of their bosses would understand the need to change the very high-level process that they didn’t have visibility into. These were governance processes overseen by the Board! It was just too big of a problem and none of them really knew what the solution would be. Furthermore, they felt they should be taking solutions to their bosses, not problems. The teams were already empowered, weren’t they? The IT org "went agile" a few years ago, after all.