- Leandro Herrero - https://leandroherrero.com -

12 simple rules of social change, organizational (culture) or societal (2/2)

Continuing my revised 12 laws of social change at a scale. [1] 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:

  1. Cater for many motivations, but establish non negotiable behaviours
  2. Create a compelling narrative that explains ‘the cause’ and ‘success’
  3. Segment, segment and segment. Then segment again. One single monolithic, top down message works in North Korea only (but many corporations don’t get it)
  4. Above all, engage the hyper connected
  5. Fix role assumptions, expectations, labels. Activists, advocates, volunteers…These tribes are very different
  6. Passion per se is overrated. It’s hard work first!

Here are the rest:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. ‘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.
  4. 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.
  5. Master bottom-up storytelling at scale. Impactful, even game changing stories are often small and prosaic, but an indication that progress is being 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’.
  6. Recalibrate all the time. Stay in beta. Don’t aim at perfection, or you’ll be perfectly dead soon.


There is no change unless there is behavioural change. From supporting your business as you adjust to the ‘new normal’ through our Feed Forward 90-day programme to driving large scale cultural and behavioural change that is sustainable for the long term through Viral Change™ – we are your organization architects.


FEED FORWARD – 90 day programme [2]

Feed Forward from The Chalfont Project, will help you create sustainable behavioural and cultural change across your organization/team/department.

Using the Five Disciplines of Viral Change™ we have developed Feed Forward.  Why? Because post Covid-19 to combat the organizational impact of the pandemic, we’ll need a behavioural counter-epidemic inside the company. This can be done but requires a real social movement, not the traditional ‘change programme’.

At The Chalfont Project [3], we have been orchestrating internal social movement in organizations for many years and we are ready to help you now, using the Five Disciplines of Viral Change™ [4]:


Contact The Chalfont Project team [5] to find out more information about Feed Forward, or to discuss how we can support your business.



Viral Change ™: model, method and way of life, all in one

Viral Change™ [6] uses the power of a small set of well-defined non-negotiable behaviours, spread by small groups of highly connected individuals within the organization. Their peer-to-peer influence – more powerful than hierarchical one – creates new norms, new ways of doing, new cultures. When groups start doing things the new way, other groups follow. Stories of success spread. Stories are memorable, behaviours are contagious… bullet points are not. There are great similarities between biological infection and idea infection. For proof, just look at any social phenomenon around you!

Viral Change™ [6] is a way to understand the organization as an organism instead of a machine. It is a method to create large scale change to meet specific business objectives. It is also a day-to-day way of life in the organization in a permanent state of readiness. If you want to master any of these, we’ll be there to guide and work with you.


Contact us [5] today to find out more about Viral Change™.