Category: Culture change

Change towards a more innovative and collaborative culture

Collaborative cultureCulture changeMarketing 3.0

The principles and goals of a destination model: coordination

Coordination is as much important as participation, to enhance effectiveness and profitability in the use of material, human and financial resources, generating synergies and economies of scale. Furthermore, coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders within the industry makes it possible to develop some programs that are difficult to carry out individually due to their high cost.

In this regard, it is crucial to develop a new culture of cooperation within the destination stakeholder system, moving people to shift their attitudes in vision of a future of shared success. The Whitepaper “Building a culture of cooperation and innovation is to explain the benefits and the process to carry out this cultural change.

The destination model should have development goals in at least four areas: economy, society, culture and environment.

Economy: generate revenue benefiting the local businesses and inhabitants, creating jobs and empowering the micro service businesses to grow, namely those at the base of the pyramid.

Society: sustain the prosperity of the local population with the enhancement of their quality of life and the satisfaction of the visitors.

Culture: preserve and leverage the cultural heritage as a key asset of the destination, encompassing monuments, traditions, gastronomy, etc.

Environment: preserve the natural heritage and landscape, controlling the impact on the fragile resources of the destination.

The accomplishment of these goals is to be carried out by drafting specific objectives in each area and key performance indicators to monitor the evolution of the development in relation to the aforementioned goals.

Which other areas would you consider to set development goals?

Collaborative cultureCulture changeMarketing 3.0Strategy planning & execution

The principles and goals of a destination model: participation

Participation should be the most inclusive and intensive as possible, encompassing public and private agents involved in the planning and management of the tourism businesses to guarantee the success of the development model. It is necessary to ensure that the tourism development will be a win-win deal for all local stakeholders and therefore nobody is excluded from the welfare distribution.

The effective participation of many stakeholders is the best guarantee of consensus, commitment and will for implementing the development model. It is convenient to convey an image of cohesion and effectiveness to the stakeholders outside the tourism industry, so long as their cooperation is likely to be necessary at some point.

Furthermore, participation is to leverage all the stakeholders’ intelligence and creativity, also as a starting point for developing a culture of collaboration and innovation, and to set the basis for a successful development of the open innovation system. In this point it is important to understand that participants are very much willing to bring in their ideas and to have their opinions taken into account, so to feel co-creators of the development project. Further, by letting them know how their ideas and opinions have been useful, they are likely to build an emotional connection with the project, thus enhancing their commitment and will for contribution throughout its development.

To what extent do you think that local stakeholders opinion should be considered?

Culture changeMarketing 3.0Storytelling training & case studiesSustainabilityThird sector and social sustainability

The transformational power of storytelling: raising social consciousness

Similar to what happens with the self-awareness to know ourselves better, storytelling training also manages to shift our mindset and arouse a higher sense of social consciousness and connect with the values of our human spirit. In this process of gaining awareness and maturity, we frequently discover our wish to contribute to social causes and when we drive this will to action, we find out the fulfilling power of creating positive impacts in our community. Then it is when we are again on the way to becoming a better version of ourselves. There have been identified three main types of social transformation:

  • Cultural transformation. Listening to personal stories about unknown realities about which we often have many misconceptions works like an eye opener and eventually also as a mind shifter. When we listen to stories about stigmatized issues or taboo topics we are likely to discover many hidden aspects of that reality which may change our opinion, and therefore our attitude towards people related to that social group changes, and social value change begins.
  • Community building. Sharing community based stories may serve as a basis for discussion on community challenges and concerns affecting a significant proportion of its members. Such discussions may be the starting point for mapping out strategic guidelines to take action and address these issues. In this case, storytelling workshops help build solidarity among community members and join efforts, thus creating a deeper sense of community belonging.
  • Call for the need of policy enforcement. In line with the aforementioned community or social problems, stories told by people suffering these problems raise awareness about the need for more effective policies to tackle such challenges or just call for the need for further enforcement in the application of the current policies. Storytelling helps by giving a voice to the often overlooked minorities or discriminated groups that need further care and protection.

All these exposed life-changing effects are at the core of the value proposition of destinations approaching the Vision of Tourism 3.0, as a vital part of the mission and also as strategic experiences that empower and move people to join in the efforts in the mission pursuit. Such social motivations could be the ones to motivate the local community to learn the art of storytelling, which then could be used for destination marketing purposes.

Do you think of other ways through which storytelling may foster social consciousness?

Culture changeMarketing 3.0Storytelling training & case studies

The transformational power of storytelling: self-discovery, transferring wisdom and healing traumas

Transfer of values and wisdom. As traditional storytelling has done throughout the centuries, stories are conveyors of cultural values and wisdom. Stories illustrate the consequences of doing good versus the consequences of doing bad, teaching the rules of life that conform to popular wisdom. The compelling power of good stories is the best guarantor of effectively transferring both the community values and knowledge. This wisdom and value transfer could be the object of Storytelling training programs for school students, for instance.

Self-discovery and awareness. By sharing and listening to other people’s stories, participants have the opportunity to reflect on the reasons why things happened and the key learning outcomes they can take away from that experience. As introduced in previous sections, telling stories about our lives is also an opportunity to gain knowledge and awareness about who we have been, who we are and who we are to become. Personal story work is as much a creative process as it is a mindfulness development process.

This brings us emotional, intellectual and moral clarity to make important decisions and envision our possibilities. Again, to get the most of this process, it has to be carried out in a group, as it is by being listened to and by listening to other people’s comments that we gain such awareness. When we tell our story, we convey the kind of person we are as much as the tale itself. At this point, by listening to understand contrary points of view the teller gains maturity and awareness.

Healing personal traumas. The sole fact of being truly listened to when telling a personal traumatic story releases pain and changes people’s lives. Then, storing the trauma in a box called story helps the teller in stepping away from the trauma and regarding all the suffering from outside, as what happens when doing meditation. By telling the story, the teller releases all the negative energy and feelings that were kept inside, and this works like a magic healing therapy that helps to store the trauma in a corner of our memory and leave empty space for positive feelings and experiences to come in.

How do you think that these transformational powers may be applied to destination experiences?

Culture changeMarketing 3.0Storytelling training & case studiesTourism marketing

Types of storytelling training workshops

Based on this common framework, specific workshops add and adapt contents according to their specific goals, as explained in the following points:

Story circle workshop is to help participants in crafting and sharing their personal story. This works like a personal development exercise for them beyond the acquired storytelling skills. Such workshops are usually focused on a specific issue about which the participants are especially interested and have a story to tell. This may go from very personal issues to business related issues or cultural issues. The last section of this Whitepaper “The transformational power of storytelling” goes into depth on the functioning of these types of workshops and the kinds of life-changing experiences that participants usually take away.

Change leadership storytelling workshop is to train leaders and community members in developing leadership related storytelling skills. It focuses on change and organizational stories, explaining how to tell them, who should tell them, the adequate media, the images to use to build a compelling narrative that conveys good feelings and a powerful vision. To drive change in an organization, a story really needs to stand out among other stories, and so the goal of the workshop is to help create outstanding stories.

A change leadership storytelling workshop is to deliver some specific points to take away:

  • Importance and key success factors of storytelling in organizations
  • Case studies of story successes and failures
  • How to build vision
  • Development of interpersonal skills for better team working and team building

Powerful stories manage to drive positive change in attitudes in all kinds of stakeholders. A corporate storyline has to convey where the organization is going, how it is meaningful in the members’ lives, and what it stands for. Without a storyline depicting a positive future, stakeholders are likely to feel insecure, and so acknowledging that the organization lacks a proper storyline is of great value to leaders. A good and easy-to-understand story in which all believe and feel identified is the most effective way to engage a group to work as a team.

Change stories are created to make complex changes easier to understand and accept, and can also be used to sell a vision to convince investors and other stakeholders in supporting the organizational efforts in the change process. Such stories are not crafted with creativity only. They are constructed following a thorough methodology based on a strategy plan. To be effective, they not only need a strategic approach and a logical structure, but also a clear objective and intention to evoke a specific emotion and move the audience to take a specific action. It should raise awareness about the need for change and make the audience envision the likely futures depending on the decisions made today. It should encompass various points:

  • Where do we come from? What makes us different?
  • Where do we want to go? What will the future be like upon accomplishing the stated goals?
  • What do we have to do to make it happen?

The Whitepaper “Building a culture of innovation and collaboration” is to explain in more detail all the process of culture change in the destination’s organizations.

Digital Storytelling workshops are designed to teach participants how to craft, assess and tell stories in the digital platforms. These are the workshops more closely related to the marketing storytelling, though the other two also have a significant influence in the marketing system. The specific learning outcomes of Digital Storytelling workshops may be:

  • Literal and anagogic modes of storytelling
  • Gamification of systems using storytelling
  • Storytelling through various kinds of media
  • Types of stories and their potential benefits
  • Storyboarding

Do you envision other types of storytelling training workshops?

Culture changeMarketing 3.0

Key success factors of stories for culture change

In the case of stories related to organizational change, apart from the aforementioned points, there are some specific key success factors to take into consideration:

  • A strong sense of a plot to convince the listeners that the organization is heading to an exciting end for them all.
  • Meaning that drives action to help the organization’s members understand what their role is, what they have to do to play their role and which are the expected results.
  • Inclusive multiple versions to motivate all kinds of organization’s members to take action according to their role. Each member should see him or herself as a story character.
  • Simplicity helps in better understanding the plot and the logic of the sequence. This applies not only to the plot but also to the language used in the story.
  • Context is usually necessary for listeners to understand why everything happens, and so to be fully convinced that whatever happens is because it had to happen this way.

Beyond the story itself, skilled storytellers have the ability to connect with the audience and convey the emotions embedded in the story. How the message is delivered is as equally important as the content of the message itself. By telling the story with passion, enthusiasm and expression, the audience is more likely to get engaged.

Besides, great storytellers have the ability to turn “me” into a “we”, by telling stories that shine the light on a concern that both the teller and the audience share. This connection creates empathy and opens people’s hearts, hence appealing to their human spirit and enhancing commitment to taking action.

Do you think of any other key success factor?

Collaborative cultureCulture changeInnovative culture

Storytelling as a driver of organizational change

Beyond the marketing purposes, storytelling is also useful as a leadership skill to motivate employees or other stakeholders to become engaged with the destination’s mission purpose. So long as the destination needs to engage a large network of stakeholders and build a new culture of cooperation and innovation, storytelling is a key strategy to sell the vision and convince stakeholders of the need for a culture change to accomplish the mission.

Stories can change our way of thinking and influence our feelings. They can drive an organizational culture change by opening people’s minds and building capacity of mutual understanding to enhance cooperation. They also have the power to make people envision a better future and how to overcome all the obstacles. Stories are pull strategy, as they allow people to decide by themselves, which is a key success factor of effective influence.

The art of persuasion consists of uniting ideas with emotions, and emotions are best conveyed through the form of a compelling story. Arousing the audience’s emotions spurs energy in them and moves them to take action. This is the power of storytelling.

Do you remember any story that moved you to change your attitude on a certain issue?

Collaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureInnovationInnovative cultureOpen innovation

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Developing a network of professional contributors

The development of a network of professional contributors should entail the following steps:

  • Set innovation goals and metrics to track results. Considering all kinds of desired outputs, set innovation goals and objectives in accordance with the executive board and innovation advisors. Formulate specific, measurable and time-bounded objectives, and prioritize them to build the innovation system according to the real needs and guide the innovation efforts. Then, design a set of metrics to monitor the project’s results.
  • Draft a comprehensive list of the needed profiles encompassing researchers, idea generators, producers and experts in all fields, as long as innovation is to be carried out by groups including these four contributor profiles. Some of them may be Strategy consultants, IT consultants, environmental experts, without disregarding some professionals for content creation such as writers, graphic designers, photographers and audiovisual developers.
  • Research networks and identify potential contributors. Get to know them well to create a database including their skills, experience, education, achievements, professional interests, associated network, and personal remarks regarding their concerns, values and aspirations. Invite them to a business oriented presentation explaining the goals and operation of the Open Innovation System, also to sense their interest and vision.
  • Identify potential leaders. As the open innovation has to work as a decentralized system with many leaders, it is necessary to have one in each field of expertise at the very least. These should have collaborative mindsets and empowering leadership style to further engage other contributors. Further, there should be some key influencers and destination executives championing the open innovation development to involve new contributors.
  • Market contribution as an opportunity to showcase their skills, connect with like-minded professionals, build reputation within their professional community, get rewards according to their contribution, achieve visible results that may bring them more professional credit, etc. Collaborate with professional associations to search for contributors and to market open innovation contribution as a professional opportunity.
  • Design reward system. Research on the market fees for each type of contributor to have a comprehensive fee list considering field of expertise, experience, achievements, proven skills, and other relevant variables. As long as innovation challenges are to be driven by collaboration among contributors, there has to be a way to assess the value of each contribution, as the final result may be a mix of ideas coming from different innovators.
  • Organize a kick-off workshop and open challenge to showcase how the system works. Pose an easy challenge in which most contributors are likely to be rewarded. An initial success story is crucial to motivate contributors in engaging further. Listen to their opinions, reviews and suggestions for improvement. Thank them for their feedback and let them know how useful it has been to streamline the system.

Beyond these initial steps, there are other key success factors that should not be disregarded:

  • Building a culture of trust, innovation and collaboration
  • Searching and connecting with external innovation networks to cooperate
  • Encouraging contributors to travel to bring in new ideas from other destinations
  • Organize workshops to train in co-creation, marketing, leadership and other subjects
  • Identify needed infrastructure to facilitate and enhance collaborative innovation

Keep in mind as an innovation mantra that “those that will succeed are the ones that embrace creativity and experiment with different ways of reaching and engaging their customers”.

Do you think of other necessary tips or key success factors?

Collaborative cultureCulture changeInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0Strategy

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Overcoming barriers in the social media adoption

When introducing and trying to engage employees and community stakeholders in social media platforms, there may be many barriers, fears, concerns and attitudes that pose a cultural change challenge. Therefore, it is necessary to research and listen to these employees and community stakeholders on their opinions, visions and attitudes about engaging in social media to assess the need for a specific culture change and internal marketing strategy to deal with these obstacles. For instance, some of the barriers may be:

  • Fear of negative reaction from customers
  • Lack of time or internal resources
  • Fear of extra workload for the employees
  • Lack of knowledge and expertise
  • Not convinced about its profitability
  • Fear of losing privacy

Once all the barriers are well known, there has to be design and implementation of a Change Strategy to overcome them based on the following sequential patterns:

1. Create a guiding coalition ·   Identify and engage change agents as social media catalysts

·   Assemble a coherent group to lead the change

·   Integrate this team into the affected groups

·   Bring in champions in each group dedicated to social media success

2. Develop a clear vision ·   Create a catalyzing vision for the social media effort

·   Develop strategy in line with the overall vision

3. Share the vision ·   Communicate the vision in every possible way to the community

·   Commit executive and community leadership to supporting the vision

·   Coalition members should be role models for the community

1.    4. Empower people and remove obstacles ·   Organize training courses on storytelling and content creation

·   Organize training courses on social media adapted to all audiences

·   Change structures, systems, compensation and any factors that obstruct the social media effort

5. Secure consistent short-term wins ·   Make public and visible performance improvements

·   Celebrate victories in line with the overall  program vision

·   Reward and recognize those securing the wins

·   Publicize the progress of the project together with the contests

6. Consolidate and keep moving ·  Use momentum to gradually change all systems and processes that don’t support the program’s success

·  Enable change agents throughout the organization and community

·  Energize the project with consistent flow of new content of all types

7. Anchor the program in the organization and the community ·  New approach should be anchored in the culture of the community

·  Real key to social media success is in transforming the organization and community to the culture of a social enterprise

·  Maintain consistent action to further embed behaviors and discipline

 Do you think of other barriers or necessary steps to overcome the stated ones?

Collaborative cultureCulture changeInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0Strategy

The Marketing Plan 3.0: changing values and behaviors

The development of the Marketing Plan 3.0 may present two cultural challenges:

  • The need for developing a new set of values as organizational standards of behavior, as a key success factor of the new values driven marketing
  • The need to overcome barriers in the adoption of the social media and content marketing engagement by the employees and the local community

Beyond the life-changing experiences and the related stories, to keep the brand integrity and ensure the success of the new marketing endeavor it is necessary that the employees and partners’ behaviors faithfully reflect the preached values. Therefore, it is probably necessary to develop a culture change program, at least to harmonize certain critical behaviors throughout the destination stakeholder community.

Designed upon consensus among the key stakeholders and community leaders, there has to be a set of values underlying the behaviors to be promoted throughout the community. Such values should be cooperation, innovation and openness to new ideas, integrity and transparency, initiative, sustainability, solidarity, common good, etc. To convince stakeholders of assuming the new set of values, it is recommendable to elaborate a Case for Change, which contains the following pieces:

  • Context: why changes are needed now, stating opportunities and threats that justify it.
  • Changes: what has to change, who is to be affected and what does not have to change
  • Process: how the proposed changes are to be implemented and expected timing
  • Benefits: who benefits from the changes (destination, community, individuals, etc.)
  • Consequences: what would happen if these changes are delayed
  • Expectations: the role every stakeholder has to play
  • Commitment: leaders have to present the Case for Change to the community, stating their explicit commitments that ultimately make them accountable to the community.

Once the Case for Change has been defined, it’s time to implement it following five principles:

  • Train employees, partners and community members on how to apply the new set of values on a daily basis, with especial emphasis on their relationships with tourists.
  • Putting the new values into practice by changing behaviors
  • Leaders have to preach by example, becoming the key 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, well communicated to convince their organization or community while listening, understanding and addressing their possible resistance, preaching by example, achieving and celebrating results, and benefiting all stakeholders to prevent further resistance.

The Whitepaper on “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation” is to develop in detail the key factors to a successful cultural change into developing the desired attitudes.

Would you consider other points in designing and implementing the Case for change?