This is Rule number 13 of the just published, new book ‘Rules for Revolutionaries- how Big Organizing can change everything’, by Becky Bond and Zack Exley.
Both were Bernie Sanders’ organisers of his grassroots movement which was incredible successful if not, as we know, enough to win the Democratic nomination in the US recent presidential Elections.
Nursing as a profession is based on the values of caring, compassion, and community, and nurses are powerful allies who will attract countless others to your cause. They possess a down-to-earth professionalism that is sincere and authentic, and they have first-hand knowledge of the life-or-death stakes of the most urgent issues of the day, from income inequality to immigration reform to climate change.
Becky goes on to say:
I ‘m serious when I say that if there are no nurses, I don’t want to be part of your revolution. In poll after poll, nursing is named by Americans as the most trusted profession. No other profession is even close. Meanwhile, there’s a four-way tie for the least-trusted professions: lobbyists, members of Congress, telemarketers, and car salespeople.
I find it incredible interesting that this is a whole rule number 13, of the 22 rules. Banking on an entire profession is unusual. You could say that this reflects some of the peculiar dynamics in the US, but they just published their rules are universal.
And the universal behind the universal rule is the engagement of people who are trusted.
French writer Alexandre Dumas wrote the famous line ‘Cherchez la Femme’, that is, ‘look for the woman’, since then extended and used as ‘always look for the woman and you’ll hit the root causes’ (‘There is a woman in every affair; as soon as someone brings me a report, I say, “Look for the woman!”)
In organizations, we need a ‘look for trust, for people trustworthy’. Everything goes back to that. And the only people in a position to declare you ‘somebody I trust’ are your peers, not your bosses, or the HR system.
If the power of the nursing tribe lies in their trust-generator capacity, we need to look for similar mechanisms in the organization. Since peer-to-peer networks of commitment inside the organization are the most powerful engine of action, finding these individuals with high trust and high connectivity in the networks, becomes one of the most important tasks of any culture or transformation effort. And this pool of individuals does nor correlate with the hierarchical system or a ‘talent management’ pool.
Revolutions a la Becky and Zack may be to nurses, what organizational change may be to highly connected Viral Change™ activists.