If it works small, it might work big. But if it does not work small, it can never, ever work big.
The law has widespread application and speaks to the nature of complex systems. “Scaling” means taking something that is working at small scope, and applying the basic idea to a wider scope. The thing you are trying to scale has to work small before it has any chance of working big. Kanban and Scrum systems are good object examples of tools that work small. Because they work in the small, there is a chance (but not the guarantee) that you can scale them. But before you try, you must confirm that you have it going in the small.
Because if it works small, it might work big. But if it does not work small, it can never, ever work big.
To change culture, simply change the way decisions get made, and who makes them.
This law has important implications for leading change. It means that leading change in the direction of better results is actually about leading change in how decisions get made and who makes them. When the frequency and quality and volume of value delivery needs improvement, how decisions are getting made is usually a big part of the problem. Look here first.
Predictably, those who are subject to any downgrade in decision-making authority will rationally become worried and will resist the change. This implies that leading genuine change is an exercise in leadership communication, an exercise in leadership storytelling. It means that leading change is really about communicating a coherent and reassuring story about the WHY of the changes in decision rights.
Culture is not “read only” and changes in the way decisions get made and who makes them will change your culture almost instantly.