Category: Culture change

Change towards a more innovative and collaborative culture

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.

Culture change

Overcoming resistance to change

Changing the culture of a complex system like a destination model requires a leader’s mindset at least as complex as the system that has to be changed.  In most of the cases, the change entails moving forward towards a more complex system, which not all leaders are ready to tackle. For instance, moving from Patriarchy to Partnership requires that Controlling leaders share power and lose part of the control, which is the scariest thing they could do. Instead, Complying leaders have to take on power and risks, challenging their worst fears.

As it is explained in the section “Four levels of leadership”, every type of leader has its own challenges, and overcoming them requires a great deal of courage, humility and mindfulness, among other attitudes. There are many reasons why cultures are difficult to change, so long as the cultural values are deeply ingrained into the policies and practices of the organization. Therefore, when leaders want to implement change, not only they have to review the organizational goals and behaviors, but also the KPIs, the professional profiles needed and the training procedures.

Barriers to change. Throughout the change process, leaders are likely to come across many barriers that block or deaccelerate the change progress. The main ones are the following:

  • “Not-invented here” syndrome: workers mistrust the new methods that have been developed outside and have not yet proven to be successful in their organization. In this regard, many may feel that “alien know-how” challenges their corporate pride, especially in the top management levels. People believe in what they have seen to work.
  • Feeling threatened: many employees may feel that they are rather likely to be part of the problem than to be part of the solution, and so they feel threatened by change. Their natural reaction may be to resist in group, to make it impossible, believing that the leaders are not likely to replace them all, because it is too costly.
  • Business as usual: many people are so used to operating according to certain procedures that it is really challenging for them to change them. They have serious difficulties adapting to new rules so long as the old ones bring them security and confidence. They are likely to follow the inertia of the old procedures as soon as they hesitate about the new ones.
  • Misunderstandings: lack of communication effectiveness is one of the most current obstacles to implementing culture change. So long as change entails shifting to another operating system and not just some operational changes, complexity always arouses many questions and misalignments that expand the chances for misunderstandings.
  • Different assessments: no matter how brilliant the change leaders can be, it is difficult to prevent the employees thinking by themselves and so they have different assessments and opinions about the problems and the solutions, the advantages and disadvantages. This is likely to arouse discussions and at least, to slow down the change process.

Strategies to manage resistance to change. In accordance with the level of resistance, there are some strategies to tackle it ranged from the least to the most extreme:

  • Education & Communication: employees need to understand the logic of the change effort, the reasons why they have to create change. Education and communication can be an effective practice to convince them to buy into the change and clear misunderstandings.
  • Participation & Involvement: another effective way to engage employees into the change effort is to let them participate in the design of the process, as active players of the challenge, instead of letting them play only a passive and reactive role.
  • Facilitation & Support: beyond the mentioned strategies, manager’s coaching, mentoring and support is likely to be necessary in many cases, to help some employees deal with their fears and insecurities during the process. This may entail dedicating time off work with them.
  • Negotiation and Agreement: when resistance is stronger, this may be tackled with a negotiation including an incentive system to stimulate them to perform according to the change planning. This makes them feel empowered instead of feeling obligated.
  • Neutralizing resistance leaders: most organizations have some informal leaders, with a more or less strong influential capacity on the rest of the group. Neutralizing their negative influence on resisting change may be a solution, by convincing, relocating or firing them.

Beyond the strategies in accordance with the resistance level, it is important that the change instructions are personalized for every type of worker, or even tailored individually in some cases. Individuals’ performance has to be tracked and rewarded according to redesigned metrics to sustain and stimulate the intended behaviors and focus of attention.

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

Kotter’s model of culture change

John Kotter’s change model is a reference model for all professionals dedicated to culture change. It is structured in 8 steps:

  1. Create a sense of urgency, awareness and desire. Change leader should first open an honest and convincing dialogue about what’s happening in the marketplace and with your competition, to make the audience foresee the threats and opportunities to tackle. When many people start talking about the proposed change, the urgency can build and feed on itself. In that sense, the leader should:
  • Identify potential threats, and develop scenarios showing what could happen in the future.
  • Examine opportunities that should be or could be exploited
  • Start honest talks, and give convincing reasons to get people discussing and thinking.
  • Request support from customers and outside stakeholders to strengthen your arguments.

Kotter states that for a change to be successful, 75% of a firm’s management has to “buy into” the change, which means to spend time and energy creating urgency, before moving on.

  1. Create a powerful coalition. Culture change has not only to be managed, but also has to be led, and so change leaders should be found throughout the organization. To lead change, you need to gather a coalition of influential people whose power comes from a variety of sources (job title, status, expertise, and political importance). Once the change coalition is created, it needs to work as a team and continue to build urgency and momentum around the need for change. This could be done by:
  • Identifying the true leaders in the organization and the key stakeholders
  • Asking for an emotional commitment from these influencers
  • Working on team building within your change coalition
  • Ensuring that you have a mix of people from different areas and levels in the organization
  1. Depict a vision for change. The coalition members have probably great ideas, but these should be linked to create an overall vision that people can understand and remember easily. To help them understand the vision and move them to take action, the leaders should:
  • Determine the values that are central to the change
  • Craft a short summary that captures what they see as the future of the organization
  • Design a strategy to execute that vision
  • Ensure that their change coalition can describe the vision in no more than five minutes
  • Practice their “vision speech” often
  1. Communicate the vision. Once you have created your vision your success will be determined by how effectively, frequently and powerfully you communicate it. You should actually try to embed it within everything that you do, like using it daily to make decisions and solve problems. When you keep it fresh on everyone’s minds, they’ll remember it and respond to it. What you do is far more important than what you say. Walk your talk to be credible.

 

Show the behavior you want from others by practicing what you preach. This can be done by:

  • Talking often about your change vision, linking it to all the aspects of operations
  • Listening to the people’s understanding of the vision and concerns, to clear doubts and reformulate the speech if necessary
  • Addressing peoples’ concerns and anxieties, openly and honestly
  • Leading by example
  1. Remove obstacles. Is there anyone or anything resisting the change? Once the structure for change is put in place, it is necessary to remove obstacles, empowering the needed people to move the change forward in the direction of the vision. This can be done by:
  • Identifying or hiring leaders in charge of delivering the change
  • Ensuring that the organizational structure and incentive systems are in line with the vision.
  • Recognizing and rewarding people for their contribution to make the change happen.
  • Identifying people who are resisting the change, and helping them see what’s needed
  1. Create short-term achievements. It is very convenient to get a taste of victory in the early stages of the process, achieving some visible and relevant results to keep critics and negative thinkers away from the spotlight. To do so, it is necessary to create short term goals as milestones along the whole process, so as to keep the organization members engaged with the change process. This can be done by:
  • Looking for sure-fire projects that you can implement without help from any change critics
  • Not choosing expensive early targets. The project investments should be easy to justify
  • Thoroughly analyzing the pros and cons of every target, to choose attainable goals
  • Rewarding those who help in meeting the goals

  1. Build on the change process. Many change projects fail because victory is declared too early. The change process takes time until it is fully completed and quick successes are only the beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long-term change. Each win provides an opportunity to build on what is right and identify what needs to improve. This can be done by:
  • Analyzing what went right and what should have worked better after every success
  • Setting goals to continue building on the momentum that is being achieved
  • Learning about kaizen, the concept of continuous improvement
  • Bringing in new change agents and leaders for the change coalition to keep ideas fresh
  1. Anchor the changes in corporate culture. To make any change stick, the values behind the vision must show in day-to-day work, and so it is necessary to make continuous efforts to ensure that the change is seen in every aspect of the organization. It’s also important that the organization’s leaders continue to support the change. This can be done by:
  • Talking about progress every chance you get. Tell success stories about the change process, and repeat other stories that you hear.
  • Including the change ideals and values when hiring and training new staff
  • Publicly recognizing key members of the original change coalition, and making sure the rest of the staff remember their contributions.
  • Creating plans to replace key leaders as they move on to ensure that their legacy is not lost

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 (I)

Once the current culture has been diagnosed and culture change inhibitors have been identified, it is necessary to craft a vision depicting the future reality that we want to achieve and the path towards this achievement. The new vision statement has to depict both the new destination model as well as how and why the culture has to be changed. So long as the culture change is an essential step towards achieving this vision statement, communicating why the culture needs to change and the benefits it will bring is the first step to take.

A vision that depicts a feasible path towards a state where the challenges have been overcome is a tremendous motivator and mobilizer. Research indicates that employees respond extremely well in terms of positivity, engagement, and of course productivity, when the company leaders have a clearly articulated and communicated vision that responds to people’s concerns and aspirations, as long as the leaders really walk their talk and results meet expectations along the way.

A well-crafted vision is essential to align the workforce and motivate them to make change happen. To be effective, the future vision has to comply with these six conditions:

  • Imaginable: it conveys a clear picture of what the future will look like upon attainment of the vision statement.
  • Desirable: it appeals to the long-term interest of employees, customers, shareholders and others who have a stake in the enterprise.
  • Feasible: it contains realistic and attainable goals that stakeholders believe can be achieved.
  • Focused: it is clear enough to provide guidance in decision-making and serves as a true north that aligns the actions of others.
  • Flexible: it allows individual initiative and contingency plans in light of changing environment conditions
  • Communicable: it is easy to communicate and to understand by the stakeholder audience.

Engaging people in the change process requires first the establishment of a sense of urgency, according to Kotter 8 step process for leading change. One of the best ways to do so is to craft a powerful case for change. This consists of a story that explains the change process that is coming to the organization. Its objective is to provide a common baseline of awareness and understanding among stakeholders. When facing the audience you should be able to tell the story in 10-15 slides and include visuals and graphics to enhance the story whenever possible.

The major content pieces to incorporate in the Case for Change story are the following:

Context: set the stage by explaining why changes are needed now, mainly referring to the opportunities and threats that make it necessary.

Changes: explain what will change, who will be impacted by the changes and to what extent, stating also what is not going to change.

Process: describe how the changes will be implemented and its expected timing, providing the next steps and introducing the team members who will lead the change.

Benefits: highlight the expected benefits as a result of the changes. Be sure to address all levels of benefits: enterprise-wide, specific divisions, and individual roles.

Consequences of delay: list out the consequences of delaying the changes. These are the counterpoints to those who would say “we can wait until next year to do this”.

Expectations: inform your stakeholders about what is expected from them. Make it clear that everyone has a role to play in successfully implementing the changes.

Commitment: the top leader should present the Case for change first. Then, subordinate leaders should present it to their teams, stating their commitments to make them accountable to their employees.

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.

Co-creationCulture changeInnovationInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0

The Impact of Social Media on Creativity

GigaOm recently published a great piece on discussing the impact of social media on creativity, citing the John Mayer’s tribulations with Twitter as their prime example:

http://gigaom.com/2011/07/19/does-using-social-media-interfere-with-creativity/

Although I definitely think a discussion around “distraction” is worth a few sentences, I don’t think it’s fair to make blatant statements about social media and creativity. Creativity can be inspired by the most unexpected of things. Perhaps it’s less so for musicians, but as a writer I often find inspiration in the most unlikely of places including tweets and status updates. One could argue that reading is not the same as posting and I would agree but there are many times when posting triggers responses that provide inspiration. I also conjecture that distraction is not necessarily a bad thing for art either.

There are times when focus is needed. I don’t want people talking at me or email dinging or tweets flying when I am head down on a piece. But there are other times when the distraction is welcome, when the creative process has stalled enough that distraction can provide the impetus to new inspiration. What is interesting about GigaOm’s piece is Mayer’s fixation on distraction. It became the primary focus rather than the distraction (perhaps his songwriting and tweeting switched places, and songwriting became the distraction).

Regardless, that is an individual artist’s issue, not necessarily an epidemic for artists as a whole. In fact, one would begin to wonder if John was looking for a way to avoid his art and saw Tweeting and social media as an easy distraction. But social network does embody something very intrinsic to the artist: the need to be at the center of things. Although some artists may not agree, saying they produce art for art’s sake, I argue that’s a rouse. The only point of art is for people to enjoy and appreciate it and, by doing so, the artist. If people are listening to your songs, what’s the point of writing them? This need to be loved, to have the attention of people, is endemic to the artist’s condition, his reason d’etre.

Unfortunately, as I have written before, being an author (or artist) will be tougher as time goes on because getting the attention for one’s art will become more difficult in the constant flow of tweets and status updates. That will require artists to adopt new means of connecting with their fans (i.e., social networking) especially when there will be fewer opportunities for traditional media promotion (i.e., agents). It may be interesting to see the rise of “social networking managers” to help the artist deal with and manage their tweets and other social feeds. This new requirement to connect with fans to promote art is simply another aspect of the “business” of being an artist that needs to be managed accordingly.

Social networking, as a whole, thought is a distraction to life. It interrupts work, it interrupts thoughts, it interrupts conversations and television shows. But it poses no more a threat to creativity than any other form of distraction including all of the other business aspects of being an artist (or at least trying to make a living at it).

www.rethinkeverythingblog.com/2017/12/20/the-impat-of-social-media-on-creativity/

Collaborative cultureCulture changeInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0

Why is it convenient to develop a new culture?

Developing destinations 3.0 entails leveraging stakeholders’ creativity, connections and workforce, as a key competitive advantage over standard destinations. This leveraging can only be achieved through the development of a new culture based on collaboration and innovation. Building a new business model as well as an open innovation system can only be done successfully ingraining new behaviors in the stakeholder system: trust, cooperation, openness to new approaches and search for new ideas are key behaviors to develop.

Creating this new culture will require a previous diagnosis on which cultural inhibitors are rooted in their mindsets, to open their minds and change their attitudes towards a new approach. Then, the success in building a culture of collaboration and innovation will need the appropriate leadership and a supporting system that rewards contributors according to the new cultural values.

Other key success factors in the culture change are the enthusiasm and trust in the vision and mission statements as a result of the community members’ participation and effective communication, as well as the local culture itself, considering its level of trust, cooperation and openness to new ideas. On this point, it is interesting to remark that mission driven purposes are those that naturally motivate the most contribution and cooperation among humankind.

Before going ahead, it is convenient to define what culture is. Among the many definitions, there are two which define it quite accurately:

  • Group norms of behavior and underlying shared values that help keep those norms in place.
  • Values and characteristic set of behaviors that define how things get done in an organization.

It is also necessary to be aware that, beyond our efforts in building a better culture according to our mission, there are many reasons or forces that can make it degrade over time as a result of major restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, and frequent changes in leadership at the corporate level. The most typical cases are the three following:

1) Growth dilutes the initial culture. As the business experiences growth and so the organization expands, the culture that made the business begin successfully and grow faces the risk of being diluted by the new hires, especially those who work away from the leadership team, for instance in far-away geographical locations. That said it is also possible that the new executives bring in a positive change and innovative ideas, but in any case it is convenient to take measures to preserve the corporate culture core essence that allowed the business to succeed up to the present stage.

2) Continuous growth & transformation burns people out. Non-stop growth and the tension derived from it are a serious threat to employees’ sustained engagement and commitment, and therefore put their performance at risk. To avoid burning out the workforce it is necessary to understand business growth as a marathon run instead of a sprint. That means that there have to be rest cycles in between the periods of fastest growth in order to recharge energy, celebrate the achieved successes and consolidate the new achievements to ensure that they are to be long-lasting.

3) Complacency. This is one of the most dangerous enemies of culture. As a result of achieving good results and the desired level of well-being, it is usual for many people to relax and over-rely on their capacities and chances for sustained success. So long as the business environment keeps on changing over time, the business has to keep on adapting to these changes and therefore has little or no time to relax on the competition. Only those businesses that continue to adapt to evolutionary changes in their environment will thrive.

Beyond the causes of culture degradation, it is convenient to know how to identify the need for organizational culture change. There are five key questions that may orient us in this regard:

  • Is there a growing sentiment that your culture is an obstacle for achieving your goals?
  • Has there been a change in strategy? Is your current culture aligned with your strategy?
  • Are you considering or involved in a merger? Are the two organisational cultures aligned?
  • Are you engaged in a transformation? Are the behaviors required to deliver results in place?
  • Are you struggling to drive higher levels of productivity?

Organizations are quite unlikely to sustain a good performance without the right culture according to the strategy that is being implemented, and the right culture does not develop unless the context or system encourages the desired behaviors that define this culture. Culture change is a necessary and key factor for business success in the aforementioned cases.

In the case of Destinations 3.0 the need for a leap forward in increasing competitiveness inevitably demands a shift towards a culture collaboration and innovation, which eventually should deliver many payoffs. First, this is what nurtures the model’s competitive advantage, its capacity to continually reinvent itself, and develop life-changing experiences and compelling stories that engage stakeholders to pursue the mission. Empowering and stimulating participation from different kinds of stakeholders brings new insights to obtain a holistic vision of the model ecosystem which makes it possible to revamp the model with less iterations, hence shortening the change periods and smoothing the innovation process.

Secondly, the values-driven culture itself attracts like-minded and talented stakeholders, who ultimately are the greatest asset of the destination model, as long as they engage with the mission and become active innovators and brand ambassadors. Models defending their values and their mission over the short term profits gain admiration from these like-minded stakeholders, managing to engage them with full commitment. Such engagement is what makes them deliver authentic experiences according to the brand stories.

Finally, as a consequence of the first two, such culture leads –at least in the long term- the model to outperform its competitors who have not developed such powerful culture. So long as human spirit driven motivations spur most of everyone’s creativity and engagement, this is what ultimately maximizes the outcome in terms of mission accomplishment and value provided to the tourists.

Among the stakeholders, the model should pay special attention to its employees, by building a values-driven culture that guides them to live up to the brand mission, providing them with the same value-driven experience they are to provide to the final customers, turning them into brand ambassadors and life-transforming agents to the customers, delivering value in accordance with the stories. This requires the maximum integrity and good leadership from the platform’s executives, demonstrating these values through everyday behavior.

To involve all stakeholders, it is necessary to make them feel empowered, supported and eventually rewarded to take the lead in any initiative aligned with the mission. In the first stage, the local stakeholders have to be empowered to participate in the mission definition. This is critical to get them engaged. Then, the collaborative platform is likely to attract many other stakeholders identified with the mission who are also willing to show their capacity to make a difference, joining efforts to move the business towards the mission accomplishment.

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.