When I started my consulting career some 20 years ago, managing change was a largely top-down process. All that has changed today. And not before time!
Today, we recognise that effective change requires three loops to reinforce each other. The first loop is individual change, driven largely by emotions (rather than logic). Organisation-wide change starts with individuals changing. The second loop is work group change, driven by social interactions. No matter how much individuals have changed, the change will not stick unless their work colleagues change in a similar way too. The third loop is organisation-wide change, driven by the first two loops achieving a change tipping point of 40-50% of the organisation. Reaching the tipping point requires top management to create a ‘safe space’ where individuals and work groups can practice and turn the change into ‘daily business’. But top management need to keep supporting the change for anything up to 24 months, otherwise it is likely to revert back to how things were before.
I recently came across Leandro Herrero’s new book on Viral Change. It descrobes what we know about the social networks that underlie Loop 2 – Work Group Change in a very practical way. Take a look at the on-demand presentation for a quick introduction to the book. It is well worth a read (& listen).
Tip of the hat to the comments at Emergence Marketing for introducing me to Leandro.
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