How do you make values live? Install them in a culture?
Model 1: You preach them, and preach them, and preach them again. Some people, hopefully lots of people, will hear you. But Model 1 has limited power. The batteries will run out soon. Your only hope is to start again, repeat. More battery replacement.
Model 2: Some people start behaving in a way consistent with those values. Other people copy them, imitate them, follow them. A critical mass of people appears. Which is copied by another critical mass. At some point, these behaviours became the norm. Model 2 is faster and more sustainable.
Model 3: as in Model 2, but those who start the trend are people highly connected in the system, whose imitators, followers, copiers, can be counted in double or triple digit. The spread is faster, the success is faster, the ‘social proof’ is faster.
Model 3 is the solution for large scale spread of values and behaviours. But it needs a platform (for us, the Viral Change Mobilizing Platform) to craft the desired behaviours, support all key players, promote peer-to-peer positive influence, track progress and make sure that all is visible via a well-constructed storytelling system.
Speaking about courage as a value, Susan Sontag said “Courage inspires communities: the courage of an example — for courage is as contagious as fear.”
Yes, emotions and values are contagious. I did a lot of research on this and all captured in my book Homo Imitans. The power of social copying and imitation is underestimated.
Large scale change, inside or outside the organization, is behavioural or it isn’t. It can be done. That is the good news