I put framing at the top of the list on ‘leadership tasks’. One of those non-rocket sciences around us that we refuse to pay attention to. Because, it’s not rocket science and apparently, in management, we need to reach the rocket sciences qualification to be able to wake up.
Yes, I think that we in business organizations completely underestimate the power of (mental and behavioural) framing to trigger and sustain behaviours, emotions, ways of doing etc.
For me there are 3 aspects of framing that are very simple, and perhaps because of this, we take them for granted, or simply dismiss them. These are my 3:
- Framing of behaviours so that they can be copied and scaled up (creating a particular culture, Homo Imitans)
- Framing of the overall narrative of the organization.
- Framing of the use of data or insights
Let’s start with the simplest components in the behavioural side
On the behavioural side there is plenty of repeated experimental data showing for example how being helped (for example to fix a computer problem) increases the level of collaboration of that particular group of people who has been helped with the people helping them. Collaboration for completely new, different goals. So far you may think, big deal. But here is the trick. The group helped increases collaboration with any other group afterwards, no matter what, versus a controlled group that has not received helped. ‘Helping’ is copied and spreads. It frames the future.
Lots of studies as well on the difference between people in a group that receive a clear ‘thanks’, versus a control group that receive a neutral acknowledgement. Similarly, the thanked group behaves differently afterwards on a number of parameters that have not direct connection with the previous reason-for-the-thanks.
Studies on altruism in neighbourhoods shows similar patterns. Somebody starts, others copy, a critical mass is created, many other houses in the neighbourhood do the same. It becomes normal. No manual on how to be altruistic. No team, no committee.
Corollary is, start your mini-mini-behavioural revolution somewhere and be persistently focused on a couple of very granular behaviours. You don’t have to explain much. Just do it. The more you explain why, the less power. Make it the norm. One off shows don’t work. You will be framing the conversation and seeding behaviours that may even seem small or trivial. If you get used to the technique, you’ll see the benefits grow.
It’s not a particular behaviour because it’s good in itself (I am sure it is) but because you are framing what comes next.
2. Framing of the overall narrative of the organization.
3. Framing of the use of data or insights
New webinar series launched this week – Registration now open!
Feed Forward webinar series – the organization now, under new management
Machines work on feed-back. Minds work on feed-forward. We don’t need thermostats; we need new compasses. There is no ‘back to normal’. Normal has not been waiting for us. Leandro Herrero
To change to ‘the new normal’ we must think and act differently in the management of our organizations. Join Leandro Herrero and his team of organizational architects for these 5, free webinars as they debunk uncontested assumptions and uncover the alternatives, whilst considering why this is even more relevant today in the current exceptional environment. Join us and bring your critical thinking brain, switched on. It’s a serious business. It may also be fun.
Each participant who attends any of the live webinars of the Feed Forward series will be eligible for one copy of The Flipping Point.
18th June – 1800 BST/1900 CET
Traditional management and a great deal of academic thinking is responsible for the colossal failure of ‘change programmes’. The first in our series of webinars will debunk uncontested assumptions in this area and uncover the alternatives, whilst considering why this debunking of myths is even more relevant today in the current exceptional environment.
2nd July – 1800 BST/1900 CET
Yes we can. You can have a diagnosis. Learn how 3CXcan provides this analysis based on the highest scientific principles of network sciences. In the current environment it’s important to base the recovery and the post Covid-19 organization with full understanding of its formal and informal connections, communication channels and internal collaboration.
16th July – 1800 BST/1900 CET
Stuck in old concepts, we have made culture change hard and often impossible. The failure of communication programmes or ‘culture training’ tell us a lot about the myths in this area. Learn how to successfully mobilize your people for a purpose and change culture. Culture is the key to the complex post Covid-19 future in front of us.
30th July – 1800 BST/1900 CET
Old traditional management thinking will be unsuitable to win in the post Covid19 scenario. So, what will the ‘new management’ look like? Which elephants do we need to see in the management room?
13th August – 1800 BST/1900 CET
The ‘Covid-19 era’ seems to have discovered ‘digital’! Suddenly the world has been ‘zooming’ in the way that Sherry Turkle pointed out many years ago in her book ‘Life on screen’. Before this extraordinary disruption we had all become hyper-connected. But, did we become hyper-collaborative?