Continuing my revised 12 laws of social change at a scale. Very simple laws apply to any large scale change including the one inside organizations, cultural change and transformation.
Yesterday, I launched the first 6 laws:
- Cater for many motivations, but establish non negotiable behaviours
- Create a compelling narrative that explains ‘the cause’ and ‘success’
- Segment, segment and segment. Then segment again. One single monolithic, top down message works in North Korea only (but may corporations don’t get it)
- Above all, engage the hyper connected
- Fix role assumptions, expectations, labels. Activists, advocates, volunteers…These tribes are very different
- Passion per se is overrated. It’s hard work first!
Here are the rest:
- It’s grassroots, or it isn’t. These ‘nice words’ ( a grassroots movement) won’t generate a bottom up system per se. The greatest force of influence is peer-to-peer, but it needs to be orchestrated; it needs to be organized. ‘People-like-me’ plus organization (platform) is the change dynamite equivalent.
- Leadership is needed. Big discovery! But not any thing leadership. There are at least 2 types. The top down –leadership needs to support, endorse and provide resources. That’s their first hat. Their second hat is Backstage Leadership, the art of supporting the distributed peer-to-peer network in an invisible (backstage) way.
- ‘Readiness’ is a red herring. No revolution started when everybody could be ready for it. In fact, most likely, not many people may have been ready. Don’t wait for full alignment, full endorsement and full support unless, that is, if you have a second and third life in mind. If you work on this one, go, go, go; people will get ready then.
- Build in a tracking process, but be careful what you measure, it may be irrelevant. Be clear what you want to see, then figure out how you can capture and extract meaning.
- Master bottom-up storytelling at a scale. Impactful, even game changing stories are often small and prosaic, but an indication that progress is made. Make sure they are not hidden, a kind of precious secret. Get them out. Big heroic stories are overrated. They don’t speak to ‘people like me’.
- Recalibrate all the time. Stay in beta. Don’t aim at perfection, or you’ll be perfectly dead soon.
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