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DevOpsGroup Blog DevOps Enterprise Summit: Creating a healthy environment for change

Creating a healthy environment for change

Resilience. Grit. Tenacity. These words cropped up again and again during day two of DevOps Enterprise Summit London.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re going through a high-profile transformation or not. In the digital economy, every industry is grappling with disruption in some form or other. And the general consensus seems to be that it’s really hard.

Yet some organisations are better at handling the challenges than others. So, how do you create a healthy environment that’s conducive to change, where people are energised and eager rather than detached and dejected?

Interestingly, many of the experience report sessions our team have attended so far cite employee engagement and communication as critical success factors. In fact, these brands’ transformation strategies clearly echo some of the points Dr Christina Maslach made on day one about altering work environments to improve job-person fit and prevent burnout.

Here are some of the examples that we liked:


A responsive culture and a relentless focus on communications is a key factor underpinning Nike’s ability to build distributed teams. A ‘thank-you’ ethos drives valuable feedback which helps emphasise shared goals between geographically diverse business units.

Sky Bet

With annual growth of 20-30% over the last few years, Sky Bet is focused on scaling its business. To this end, it’s moved from a centralised DevOps model to a distributed one based on Spotify’s approach. Crucially, teams are provided with patterns for guidance, but given the autonomy to choose the implementation that works best for them.


Creating a platform team to take care of ‘plumbing’ and releasing product teams to focus on delivering value enabled ITV to achieve measurable improvements in customer-centricity. This clarity of purpose and a supportive relationship between platform and product teams allows everyone to perform brilliantly and feel fulfilled in their roles.  

Look after your people

The workplace engagement panel discussion involving Dr Nicole Forsgren, Dr Steve Spear and Dr Maslach was a real highlight of DOES. Their thoughts on burnout, engagement and the creation of dynamic, high-performance organisations were insightful and inspiring.  

Points that resonated with our team centred on the need for work environments that are physically and psychologically safe. It was reassuring to learn how even small changes can create a positive ripple effect that shifts the environmental balance from toxic to nurturing. This can manifest itself in many ways, but leaders have to make a purposeful decision to move in this direction.

There’s no escaping the need for resilience, grit and tenacity in a rapidly evolving business. But these characteristics are strengthened when people are given care, choice and clarity.

Judging by the experience reports that struck a chord with our team, organisations that manage to create supportive environments are set to be the winners of digital transformation.

You can read an excerpt of Dr Christina Maslach’s Understanding Job Burnout session from DOES 2018 in Las Vegas here.

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