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

Many cultural change efforts fail out of a mathematical mistake

Many cultural change efforts fail out of a mathematical mistake. They focus on ‘people in the room’ (conference, off site, training course, cascading workshops) when what matters is how people not in the room are engaged.

To get 200 leaders in the room, or 200 ‘champions’ of some sort, or 200 ambassadors representative from the organization, is great. If you get 200 of them indoctrinated, motivated, engaged, committed and educated, even greater. If you repeat with another 200, well, great and great. But if the company has 4000 employees, tell me how they are going to be impacted by 200 well educated and committed people (usually senior).  Tip, it’s not cascaded down through a PowerPoint deck with ‘change is good for you, this is how’.

Cultural change is cultural infection, or it isn’t. Without infection, it may be cultural education, but not change. The maths of change is the maths of multiplication, not of addition. No multiplication, no culture shaping (which is to say no social movement, or collective action).

The trick is how those 200 could engage 20 each, for example, who could in turn engage 10 each. Pick a formula. It’s at least layer 3 of connectivity and influence that will create the critical mass needed.

Most cultural change approaches fail to understand multiplication and get very excited by the number of people participating in change workshops, generally a fraction of the workforce.

The Viral ChangeTM Mobilizing Platform deals with scale up change (behavioural, culture). The scale up, multiplication, ever growing critical mass of people moving in the right direction, should be an obvious objective of ‘change’. Why is it that in many organizations, scale is measured by number of workshops (activities) instead of number of  people reached?


Our Feed Forward Webinar Series is now available to watch on demand.

Watch our webinar on The Myths of Company Culture [1]


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. Over the Covid-19 peak across the world we have seen the best and the worst of company cultures. Sometimes it felt like a pressure cooker. Culture is now ‘the strategy’, but we need to get rid of some assumptions and learn inconvenient truths.


What attendees said:

‘Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this fantastic webinar. Both the depth of the discussion between Leandro and Carlos and the very intensive exchange in the chat inspired me.’


‘It was a great pleasure to participate in today’s webinar…. If you would have been sitting next to me, you would have seen a lot of ‘head nodding’ and heard a couple of loud ‘yes’es’ from the bottom of my heart.’