Category: Culture change

Change towards a more innovative and collaborative culture

Culture changeMarketing 3.0Strategy

Developing internal leadership talent

So long as destinations 3.0 intend to expand by leveraging the human potential of the local community, developing leadership talent is an essential success factor. The development of the future leaders should begin at present. As a part of the vision and duty of Creative leaders, the development of young leaders is a must have requirement to ensure the models’ sustainability and adaptation to the environment’s changes.

Organizations have to change their leadership talent sourcing strategy, by focusing their efforts on developing talent within the organization rather than head hunting in the market.  This can be done through the deployment of leadership development programs, which have proved to bring in many advantages:

Boost of the employee engagement. According to 90% of leaders, employee engagement has a positive influence on business success, but 75% of the organizations have no engagement plan or strategy. Development programs provide the employees the opportunity to leap forward to a better version of themselves and find a more meaningful and fulfilling professional life. Make sure to appropriately define the program goals.

Increase of the employee performance. As it happens with all professional development programs, they prepare employees to bring more value to the organization and therefore increase their performance. Investing in the human resources development is also very likely to favor their retention, so long as they feel that they are in an organization where they can grow professionally and develop their potential.

Ensure the business sustainability. Developing internal talent is not only more profitable than sourcing it outside, but it also ensures that only those professionals that share the organization values will be its future leaders. Further, the availability of many prepared leaders facilitates a natural selection for the best leaders to thrive and take the top leadership positions. Therefore, it is not only an investment to boost profitability, but also to reduce risk.

This article is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, written by Jordi Pera, Founder and CEO at Envisioning Tourism 3.0 Ltd. You may download for free the full Whitepaper at www.envisioningtourism.com/whitepapers

Culture changeMarketing 3.0

How leadership makes the culture change

When starting to work on developing a destination up to a 3.0 model, most executives are likely to have a Reactive mindset. Reactive leaders are programmed to perpetuate the current reality, thriving within the established system in accordance with the established rules to meet the standardized expectations of the cultural environment. This mindset is obviously not prepared to drive change. In their transition to the Creative mind, they start to think by themselves, feeling free to decide and depict their own vision and purpose. This creative capacity is what empowers them to lead the change. In the transition from the Creative towards the Integral mind, the leader develops the capacity to make the organization capable of integrating all the stakeholders, caring for the sustainability and common good to the largest extent.

According to the Leadership Circle Profile, the Change leader should follow a servant leadership approach, listening, understanding and caring for the organisation’s members’ personal and professional development. The culture change process consists mainly on shifting the focus on problems, threats and reactions –Reactive- towards a focus on vision, passion, purpose and action inspired from the Creative mind. This is implemented by identifying the main Reactive features to reduce (Controlling, Protecting, and Complying) and developing Creative competencies (Relating, Self-Awareness, Authenticity, Systems Awareness, and Achieving).

This new focus consists of building relationships and making the others realize that we have to work as a team and rely on each other to overcome the coming challenges. During the leader’s transition from the Reactive to the Creative mind, the team members can observe this progression and get inspired to follow the same process. At the moment when there is a critical mass of people who have experienced this transformation, it can be taken for certain that the changes can be sustained and the Creative stage is consolidated.

On the McKinsey Quarterly issue about Developing Better Change Leaders, there are highlighted a series of important change leadership practices:

Tie change leadership to business goals. There is no better challenge than a high-priority business initiative for executives to develop new change leadership skills. This is a way to develop both the leaders’ and the organisation’s capabilities at the same time.

Master personal behavior change. It is necessary for leaders to understand how their mindset and behaviors can propel or hinder the culture change process. Their mindset and behavior are essential to influencing the organization members.

Show highly visible sponsorship. Most of the successful organizational transformations have had sponsors who were highly active and visible in their role to build alignment among other leaders on the change effort and support them along the journey.

Create networks of change agents. This is to gather a representative share of all types of stakeholders that are affected by the change process, in order to obtain insights from all players and engage them in the process, to make it more comprehensive.

Involve employees in the transformation journey. Team members’ engagement has to be achieved first through the emotional appeal to effectively arouse their will. Only then the intellectual arguments that appeal to their rationality can be assumed.

This article is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, written by Jordi Pera, Founder and CEO at Envisioning Tourism 3.0 Ltd. You can download for free the full Whitepaper at http://www.envisioningtourism.com/whitepapers

Culture changeMarketing 3.0

Leadership development process for culture change

Revamping destinations up to a 3.0 model entails, among other challenges, upgrading the leadership level of their executives. As it has been explained in previous blog posts, The Leadership Circle Profile is a methodological framework to assess Leadership Quality and orientate leadership development for those who want to leap forward from one stage to another, creating awareness of the need for the leaders’ transformation as a first step towards culture change.

The method for leadership quality assessment and development combines peer to peer analysis and development sessions focused on specific topics, in a way that the leader’s peers and subordinates analyze his evolution and needs for improvement. This requires a great deal of confidence, sincerity and commitment, along with humility on the side of the leader, to listen to his peers and subordinates criticism on his leadership style and effectiveness. The involvement of peers is not only to obtain a more comprehensive and realistic assessment, but also to develop their awareness and commitment on this issue, so long as leadership is not only the leaders’ job, but everybody’s co-responsibility in their role in order to improve the collective leadership and the organizational culture.

At the end of every session, the leaders commit to improve a certain aspect of their leadership, and at the following session they analyze the improvements achieved. This usually consists of reducing a specific Reactive behavior, developing a Creative competence and also a leadership improvement goal. All these have to be measurable to track progress, and the goals should be also quantified to measure the level of success in each one. This method manages also to create a culture of trust and support, so long as peers talk openly about themselves and their coworkers, their fears, weaknesses and questions. This way, the forces constraining cooperation and self-development are reduced to leave room for further empowerment and development of synergies within the organization. These sessions are usually carried out every few months for a period of about two years.

This blog post is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, freely downloadable in this weblog. You may check the Whitepaper’s references to know the sources used for its elaboration.

Culture changeMarketing 3.0

Harvard’s tips about culture change

Beyond the BCG and Kotter’s approaches that have been explained in previous posts, Harvard Business Review provides a long list of tips to complement the aforementioned methodologies, and also to understand all the factors that should be taken into account, so long as they influence the process of culture change and its chances of success. These are the following:

Readiness to change is about arousing a sincere want for change. A leader’s admission of vulnerability is rather likely to help others recognize and address their failings. You can’t force people to change. You can only help them want to.

It is essential to replace negative habits with positive ones. Linking old to new habits is far more effective than approaching them separately. Doing A instead of B simplifies the change, rather than stopping the B habit without clear instructions of what to do instead.

Peer support and pressure foster change. One of the best ways to change human behavior is to gather people with similar problems. Bringing employees together to discuss initiatives creates accountability, mutual generosity, a judgment-free attitude, and increased pressure.

Sponsorship deepens commitment and sparks results. Identifying and rewarding early adopters of the new behaviors is likely to create positive contagion. For the slower adopters of the new behaviors it is much better to pair them with early adopters than external coaches.

Community without hierarchy is a catalyst for change. Confidence and trust tends to be higher in the closest relationships with peers rather than formal leaders, and so the informal relationships should be leveraged to move change forward, beyond the hierarchical leaders.

It pays to acknowledge small wins. Change management system should find ways for employees to show and celebrate incremental achievements. Failing to create short term wins is likely to lead the process to failure. Change effort needs to be often refilled with new energy.

Match strategy and culture. Too often executives underestimate to what extent culture alignment is a key success factor for strategy’s effectiveness, and actually is being an obstacle to strategy implementation. Culture, strategy and goals have to be closely interconnected.

Focus on a few critical shifts in behavior. Implementing culture change, as for any strategy challenge, is essential to set priorities. In this case, it is convenient to identify the key behaviors to change, prioritize them and focus only on the top priorities at first.

Honor the strengths of your existing culture. Instead of focusing only on the negative behaviors to be changed, it is recommendable to acknowledge the cultural assets of the organization that do not need change, and make the change feel more like a shared evolution.

Integrate formal and informal interventions. When promoting behavior changes it is necessary to appeal first to the emotional level (values, pride, integrity, etc.) and then to the rational self-interest (incentives, promotion, etc.) using both formal and informal interventions.

Care about professional development. Employee commitment is more likely to be achieved when these feel that the organization is investing in their future by providing training and caring for their professional development. Then they are more eager to buy into the change.

Assign clear accountabilities. Every member, starting with the executive team, should know what change goals and initiatives he or she is responsible for. The accountabilities should be cascaded accordingly from the leadership level to the bottom level of the organization.

Measure and monitor cultural evolution. As well as any other aspect related to strategy implementation, culture change progress has to be monitored, in order to identify misalignments or need for strategic reorientation. Executives should focus on four areas:

  • Business performance. Progression of the KPIs, assessing both outperformers and underperformers, and analyzing the underlying causes of the measured results.
  • Critical behaviors. The extent to which the members of the organization have changed their behaviors according to the established priorities.
  • Milestones. Level of accomplishment of the intermediate goals established in the implementation plan, considering the priority level of each goal.

When designing cultural metrics, it is better to focus on a few critical indicators than to create a complex system, which actually takes a great effort to develop and manage. In accordance with the metrics system, there has to be an incentive system to reward successes and give recognition to the best performers. Finally, don’t underestimate the power of a positive mindset, as it has the potential to change performance by creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This blog post is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, freely downloadable in this weblog. You may check the Whitepaper’s references to know the sources used for its elaboration.

Culture change

BCG model of culture change (II)

Following with the explanation in the previous blog post, hereby are explained the last two points of the BCG model of culture change.

What aspects of organizational context should we change?

Many people believe that there are too many factors and their inter-relationships and relationship with the culture are too complex, in order to know how and where to intervene.

The reality is that learning what to change is a logical and feasible process. Actually, so long as you understand the organizational context and the inter-relation among its constituent elements, you can effectively change culture. By applying techniques drawn from social and behavioral psychology you can create a set of interventions that move multiple “context levers” in the right combination.

Designing the interventions. Leaders have a plethora of context levers at their disposal to align employee behavior with strategy –and close the gap between their current and target culture. These levers represent a mix of hard and soft approaches that separately and in combination shape behavior. They enable organizations not only to understand the forces shaping their current culture but also to determine what needs to be changed.

BCG has identified 7 organizational-context levers that influence behavior and shape culture:

  • Leadership: leaders’ role-modeling behaviors; their manner of communication, especially in reinforcing desired behaviors; how they spend their time, manage their priorities, and interact with direct reports (do they micromanage or manage by principle?).
  • People and development: the kind of employees who are recruited; opportunities for meaningful work and the kind of career paths the organization enables; how talent is promoted and retained; the provided coaching; learning and development programs.
  • Performance management: the KPIs that the organization uses to define and track performance drivers, its policies and practices regarding compensation, benefits, reviews, promotions, rewards, penalties, and consequences of undesirable behavior.
  • Informal interactions: networks, the nature of peer-to-peer interactions, gatherings, etc.
  • Organization design: organizational structure, processes and roles, decision rights, and collaboration processes; units’ relationship to headquarters, office layout and design.
  • Resources and tools: the projects that are funded, access to human resources, management systems, and analytical tools
  • Values: the collective beliefs, ideals, and norms that guide people’s conduct and help them adhere to priorities, especially when facing a business dilemma.

For each gap uncovered in the context analysis, organizations must choose the right levers, design the right interventions, and determine when to apply them. Some interventions, such as setting a recognition system, generate quick wins, while others, such as a reorganization, take longer. Finally, it’s important to prioritize them according to their estimated impact.

How do we make change happen?

There is also the myth that changing behavior and culture is a gamble, so long as the complexity of the process makes culture change unpredictable.

The reality is that behavior and culture change is a predictable process and can be orchestrated to achieve the intended results. If you have carried out a sound diagnostic and identified, designed, and implemented the appropriate interventions, you can get fairly predictable results in the foreseeable period of time. However, doing so requires an active, practical and systematic approach, as well as considerable attention to change management.

Implementing culture change. A handful of practices can ensure that the interventions you choose will have the best chance of achieving the intended results.

  • Find and support change champions in the organization. In every organization there are people who have already adopted the new behaviors and are enthusiastic about attracting others to the new culture. These should have been involved in the intervention design and are committed to the proposed changes. It is also preferable to train these champions in leading change and ensure that they are rewarded for taking on that role.
  • Run pilot programs and roll out interventions. It is crucial to test a set of interventions through pilot programs. Once tested, there has to be a clear sequence and timetable to roll out the levers and interventions in accordance with the strategy. It is necessary to establish a metrics system to monitor the change progress.
  • Ensure frequent, precise, and transparent communication. Communication is critical in any change program, and it is even more important in culture change. The goal of a communications program is to make culture as tangible as possible, emphasizing what it means for the individuals who will be affected.
  • Monitor progress to adjust and refine interventions. Culture change is predictable, but it is also inevitably messy. Changing organizational context in the right ways will certainly reinforce the desired behaviors. Then it is crucial to monitor progress to determine if the desired results are actually being attained. If not, you have to adjust the interventions.

This blog post is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, freely downloadable in this weblog. You may check the Whitepaper’s references to know the sources used for its elaboration.

Culture change

BCG model of culture change (I)

According to Boston Consulting Group, culture change is not only achievable but entirely feasible within a reasonable amount of time. Any organization can realize its target culture by implementing change based on the answers to four questions:

  • What culture do we need?
  • What culture do we have and why do we have it?
  • What aspects of the organizational context should we change to get the behaviors we seek?
  • How do we make the change happen?

What culture do we need?

To determine what culture your organisation needs it is necessary to have a clear purpose, a set of goals and a strategy designed to meet them. The target-setting process involves translating the strategy into the specific capabilities and behaviors required to implement it. The target culture is thus a combination of behaviors related to employee engagement and strategy-specific attributes. Engagement can be described as the degree to which individuals and teams are in accordance with the organisation’s culture. Engaged employees are ambitious, inspired, achievement oriented, accountable, and supportive:

  • Ambitious: they set high goals for themselves and the organization, in order to strive to be a leader in its industry.
  • Inspired: senior management effectively communicates the vision in a way that employees believe in the organization’s goals and in the intrinsic value of their work.
  • Achievement-oriented: they meet or exceed performance requirements despite challenges. Exceptional performance is rewarded; poor performance is not tolerated.
  • Accountable: they are held accountable for meeting corporate and individual goals. There is a compelling desire to consistently meet the organization’s milestones.
  • Supportive: they mentor and develop direct reports and others. Real value is placed on teaching and mentorship.

The leaders must choose strategy-specific behaviors along the following seven dimensions:

  • Structured vs flexible: how specifically are processes and acceptable behaviors defined? How closely are they followed in practice?
  • Controlling vs delegating: to what extent is power and decision making concentrated at the top or diffused throughout the organization?
  • Cautious vs risk permitting: how much does the organization support risk taking?
  • Thinking vs doing: to what degree do people spend time creating ideas or executing them?
  • Diplomatic vs direct: how transparent are communications between coworkers & managers?
  • Individualistic vs collaborative: to what extent are employees concerned with their own individual performance versus shared goals?
  • Internal vs external: to what extent are processes and behaviors oriented toward the outside world versus the internal environment?

Leaders make these choices by translating the organization’s strategy into a set of capabilities and behaviors required to deliver it. The strategy is therefore implemented through the employees’ behaviors in accordance with the mentioned parameters.

What culture do we have and why do we have it?

Culture is mainly determined by the organizational context. Many organizations’ members may be unaware of the effect that the leaders, structure, systems, and incentives have on people as individuals and in teams. It is this organizational context, and not mindsets, that drives and sustains culture. Desired behaviors can emerge spontaneously when the context changes. Mindsets, values, and culture will follow the contextual changes.

Diagnosing culture. To diagnose why you have the culture you have, you need to identify employees’ behaviors and uncover their causes. This can be done by conducting a survey, interviews and focus groups to identify the behaviors that characterize its culture. Then, organizations can clarify whether current behaviors match those that the strategy requires. It is also necessary to find out their underlying reasons, to design the appropriate interventions.

The explanation of this model is to be completed with another upcoming blog post

Business model innovationCo-creationInnovationInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0

Ferran Adrià + Cirque du Soleil: a creative collision brings a paradigm shift in entertainment and cuisine

When creative minds collide, the most innovative outcome could be expected. Especially, if partners share common passions, values and a craving for challenges. For more than 10 years, the world-famous chefs Albert and Ferran Adrià and Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil, have been sharing ideas on the concept for a new space meant to be a paradigm shift in the world of entertainment, cuisine and art. The result is an international and multidisciplinary project called HEART, which finally has opened doors this summer on the Spanish island of Ibiza.

Certainly, Adrià brothers need nobody to open successfully any new restaurant concept. Neither Cirque du Soleil required anyone else to offer once more a new and unique high-quality artistic entertainment. Albert and Ferran Adrià can be regarded the most well-known brothers in the world of gastronomy, spirit and soul of restaurant elBulli, considered a before-and-after of modern cuisine. Since its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil shows have thrilled close to 150 million spectators in over 300 cities on six continents.

But HEART seeks to explore what happens when food, music, and art collide and exploration is something you are always better doing accompanied. Secondly, if you excel in one of the components of a mix, why not to look for somebody else that also stands out in the rest of the ingredients? Of course, there is also the multiplier effect of co-branding two well known and highly appreciated names in their respective areas (a good idea even considering not just companies but also personal brands, as we have already seen in some other cases)

The creative partnership is born with good signals. At least as a Co-project. Over the years,  el Bulli was always an incubator for new ideas anyway. Adrià brothers are already embarked in some others projects, most of them involving somehow a “creative collision” too. In addition to shows, the Cirque du Soleil Group is already used to extend its creative talent to other spheres of activity. It is expected then to bring to HEART the same energy and spirit that characterize each of its shows.

This article is from  www.co-society.com/ferran-adria-cirque-du-soleil-creative-collision-brings-paradigm-shift-entertainment-cuisine

Culture changeMarketing 3.0

Developing leadership for change: 4 levels of leadership (II)

Following with the explanation of The Leadership Circle Profile’s 4 levels of leadership, hereby are presented the two most interesting and necessary leadership levels for culture change as well as for the development of destinations 3.0: Creative leadership and Integral leadership.

Creative leadership. In the transition to the Creative Mind, the leader opens the mind by leaving old assumptions behind and exploring the inner self in search of a more authentic identity in connection with the soul. In this stage, leaders analyze the values they are willing to stand for and reflect upon the purposes they want to strive for, depicting a new vision of who they want to become and how they want to contribute to achieve these purposes with their leadership. The definition of the new self is configured from the inside out. In this stage, action is no longer driven by the social standards but by a sense of inner purpose, developing creativity, feeling more freedom and motivated by fulfillment rather than for appreciation.

The Creative leader is driven by self-expression and cooperation, encouraging others to follow the same development path, developing new and better leaders within the organization. This leadership style is characterized by many new competencies, classified into five categories:

  • Achieving, the ability to envision and attain results
  • Systems awareness, the capability to design organizational systems for higher performance
  • Authenticity, the willingness to act with integrity to tell the truth even when it is risky
  • Self-Awareness, balance, composure, emotional intelligence, and ongoing development
  • Relating, the capability to relate well to others, build teams, collaborate, and develop people.

The Creative stage is the first level –within the TLCP framework- from which it is possible to create lean, engaged, innovative, visionary, high-fulfillment organizations and to transform the culture in accordance with the new challenges of the XXI century.

This type of leader is mainly focused on developing new leaders by depicting the vision, engaging others and making them realize how the vision also sets their path to fulfillment, and empowering them to cooperate to achieve their common purposes.

Integral leadership. The stage beyond the Creative mind aspires to be a servant of the whole stakeholder system by working on a vision that goes beyond the interests of the organization, to create positive impacts also for the outside stakeholders and caring for the community’s common good to the largest extent. This type of leader develops the ability to tackle complex systemic challenges that require a great deal of listening, dialogue, reflection and vision for the development of complex and integrative solutions. Only 5% of leaders reach this stage, which accounts for the best performance score of all, around the 90th percentile. This can only be achieved through the development of a higher consciousness capable of envisioning larger and more complex systems where to develop multiple synergies.

The intended legacy of this kind of leader is a mission driven organization connected to society in order to address many of its concerns related to the environment and social challenges such as poverty alleviation. This is a leadership style designed for advancing towards global sustainability and common good. It is therefore the best possible leadership for developing destinations towards the vision of Tourism 3.0.

This blog post is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, freely downloadable in this weblog. You may check the Whitepaper’s references to know the sources used for its elaboration.

Culture changeMarketing 3.0

Developing leadership for change: 4 levels of leadership (I)

Regardless of the culture they belong to, leaders develop through a series of sequential stages.  According to The Leadership Circle Profile –a reference methodological framework for leadership development- at each progressive developmental stage, the way we manage the self-world relationship changes, shifting the self towards a more complex and superior Inner Operating System (IOS). With this “new operating system”, the leader is able to handle more complexity with greater ease and efficiency. The person experiences a leap forward in creativity, effectiveness, freedom, power, and joy, becoming capable of greater contribution.

The culture change process takes place first in the consciousness of every person. Then, every individual influences the system to change it, and the new system encourages more people to experience their personal leap forward. As soon as a critical mass has developed, the new stage is achieved and consolidated, reducing significantly the chances of leaping back to the previous stage, and setting the stage for a leap forward towards higher-order leadership level. Therefore, the organization performs in accordance with the level of consciousness of its individuals. Actually, resistance to change is mostly derived from the difficulties that individuals have in making this leap forward in consciousness. This needs coaching and support. The four leadership stages are: egocentric, reactive, creative, and integral.

Egocentric leadership. This stage starts at the age of 8 and usually finishes at the end of the adolescence or early adulthood. This is characterized by relating the identity with the ability to meet ones needs, and so the social relationships are built in view of satisfying the personal needs only. Unavoidably, the strength of egocentricity is the capacity to get the personal needs satisfied and gain independence. So long as the egocentric are not aware about the others’ needs, they do not take these needs into account when making decisions. There is a total absence of shared reality in this personal stage, and so the growth path consists of taking others’ concerns into account and defining the identity co-relationally in a way that loyalty shifts from self-loyalty to the social loyalty. Around 5% of leaders operate in this stage.

Unfortunately, some people do not fully make the leap forward to the next stage and remain egocentric in their adulthood. The Egocentric mind is normal in adolescence, but pathology in adulthood. Leaders with egocentric mindsets tend to be autocratic and controlling, pretending that employees exist to serve them. This turns into an oppressive and destructive leadership.

Reactive leadership. The challenge of the Reactive Mind is to develop the ability to cooperate with others and within organizations. Leaders at this stage build their identities from the outside in: their self-worth is determined by their ability to meet the expectations of their social environment. To feel successful and worthwhile they need the approval of the others, which is based upon a set of standard cultural values.

These leaders are defined according to their capabilities, in three categories:

  • They define their identity around the relationship skills, developed by leveraging their big-hearted nature, and tend to give up too much power to be accepted.
  • Controlling. This type of leader tends to use power to achieve what they want, using people for their own profit. These leaders define themselves through their achievements.
  • Protecting. These leaders build their identity upon their intellectual superiority. They are distant in relation to others, thus limiting their capacity to influence.

By focusing on their capabilities they eventually over-use these strengths, and this excessive use becomes a weakness and their main limitation, so long as they restrict the range of options when dealing with any challenge. This obviously limits their leadership effectiveness. This mindset is programmed to perpetuate the status quo, and so whenever there is a challenge, the leader will focus on fixing the problems in a way that everything gets back to the previous state, without making any leap forward on the model to address the root of the problem. Further, the lack of vision makes it barely impossible to anticipate challenges and take action accordingly, and so he or she is only moved by the reaction to the problems when they arise, and this reaction is driven according to the standard procedures of the cultural environment to meet the expected results of this environment.

With regards to the Egocentric style, Reactive style replaces the loyalty to the self with the institutional loyalty. This is characterized by relationships based on loyalty and obedience, and bureaucratic oriented hierarchies. Nowadays, however, most change efforts intend to create leaner, flatter and engaged cultures, which require more ownership and creative accountability at the lower levels of hierarchy. The Reactive leadership is not ready for such kind of culture transformation, and so a higher-order mindset is needed. There comes the Creative mind. It is estimated that about the 70% of leaders operate in the Reactive level or in transition towards the Creative stage, so this is the kind of leader we are more likely to deal with.

The explanation of the Leadership Circle Profile’s 4 levels of leadership is to be completed with another upcoming blog post.

This blog post is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, freely downloadable in this weblog. You may check the Whitepaper’s references to know the sources used for its elaboration.

 

Culture changeMarketing 3.0

Creating and communicating a vision for culture change (II)

The Case for Change is the best formula to structure and communicate the vision for change. The leader’s objective with the Case for Change is to establish baseline level of awareness and understanding of the changes. Once defined, it’s time to implement it following five principles:

  • Train employees and stakeholders on how to apply the new set of values on a daily basis.
  • Put the new values into practice by changing behaviors
  • Leaders have to preach by example, becoming the role models that inspire everybody
  • Ensure that everyone is aligned with the new values and behaviors, and correct if necessary
  • Celebrate results achieved by any employee or community member to encourage others

The key ideas of driving culture change to understand are that this has to be started from the leadership positions, practicing what you preach, communicating to convince their organization or community while listening, understanding and addressing their possible resistance, achieving and celebrating results, and benefiting all stakeholders to engage them further.

To communicate the vision and the Case for Change effectively, the storytelling techniques can provide us with many tips. Effective leaders tell stories that position them and their organizations as change agents instead of defenders of the status quo. Stories are pull strategy: they allow people to decide for themselves, which is one of the great hallmarks of effective influence. In the case of destinations shifting their model it will be necessary to explain to them the model vision in a compelling way that connects first with their emotions and human spirit, to open their want for a deeper understanding of the process and purpose.

Stories are the best way to help people imagine how the new model is likely to improve their current status quo, how it creates value and improves the community’s life quality. Stories convey the new model ideas to the people’s minds describing them in a way that overcomes resistance, the most likely reaction to new model propositions challenging the status quo. By capturing people’s attention, stories are to pave the way for an in-depth presentation.

Such destination’s vision is not only necessary to convince the community members to integrate, but also a guiding force that constantly aligns everyone’s efforts on their contribution to expand the destination model to the utmost of its potential and to accomplish the mission statement.

When crafting the case for change, it is convenient to craft some stories that illustrate for an individual what the change is going to be like, escaping formality to make it more familiar to the audience. Then, it is necessary to remind of the basic features that good stories share:

  • A strong sense of a plot: the story should provide listeners with a sense that the organization is going somewhere exciting
  • Meaning that drives action: employees should be able to say “I know what to do in my area because it fits with my values and where we are going”
  • Multiple and consistent versions: each person who hears the story should be motivated by it in different yet compatible ways
  • Inevitable: listeners should come away thinking “it had to happen that way”.

Further, stories are effective for culture change purposes when they are:

  • Simple: listeners are not overwhelmed with detailed facts and information
  • Relevant: the purpose and theme of the story matters to those who hear it
  • Inclusive: everyone can see themselves in the story
  • Emotional: the story excites, delights, surprises, or otherwise moves the listener at an emotional level. It engages multiple senses.
  • Friendly, not cynical: even sad stories should leave the listener feeling hope, understanding or satisfaction.
  • Shared by many people: the story is interesting and important enough to be shared over and over again. The best stories get more compelling when they are shared and refined as part of a dialogue before being passed on.

Beyond the story itself, mastering the art of storytelling to make stories compelling requires several skills and strategies to take into account:

  • The teller should convey his or her own personal energy, excitement, and conviction. Using phrases such as “I feel…”, “I am doing this because…”, “I want to go for this…”, or “I know we can do this” may help in transmitting positive vibrations.
  • Providing context, like using a global perspective to gain understanding about the threats that force the change or raise ambition about the scale of the opportunity
  • Being clear on the rationale for change by drawing on both the burning platform (the need for change) and the shining beacon (what can be achieved with the change)
  • Using simple language that is relevant to the audience, translating technical terms into words that everybody can understand easily
  • Showing personal commitment, making it clear what would be done differently and how the staff are to be supported during the change process.
  • Using tested rhetorical techniques so long as the teller can build them into his/her own style. For example, using repetition for emphasis like “I believe we can do this, I believe we have the skills to do this, I believe we need to do this, etc.”

This blog post is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, freely downloadable in this weblog. You may check the Whitepaper’s references to know the sources used for its elaboration.