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

The alternative Post-mortem of failed change programmes. (3 of 5): Antibodies to start with.

Third instalment in the uncovering of truths via a reverse engineering of the failure of change and transformation programmes.

Finding: it all started skilfully creating antibodies all round. The company immune system reacted.  It was in fact masochistic.

Not unusual. Starting a culture programme in an organization that has very bad memories of culture programmes seems like a bad idea. Yet, people do these things.

Framing ‘the programme’ as another corporate initiative competing for airtime with the other 23 running in parallel, is a bad idea. Yet, people do these things.

Announcing to the world a massive ‘change of culture’ is a good recipe for people to run to the bunkers fast. All that would be missing is air raid sirens. [In fact, we get air-raid sirens in the form of ‘and we’ve got (name of Big Consulting) here’]

I personally try to avoid labels, not always successfully. The best change programme is the one when change happens and it’s not seen as a programme. That is the aim. Not always achievable, but no less of a noble aim.

One of the principles that we in Viral ChangeTM  consider more precious is what we call ‘Designed Informality’. The change/culture transformation programme is deployed in a rather invisible way (note I don’t mean secret), so it feels informal, de-corporatised, and it’s in fact informal in implementation (e.g peer-to-peer engagement), with the exception of punctuated activities, but it is well designed in the background by a very structured project team. Only the project team/engine room (we call it in many ways) sees 100% of the ‘project mechanics’. The rest of the world see peers working with peers, stories of success flowing around  and leaders talking a lot about … ‘how can I help you?’

Reminder: ‘The system will prevent itself from solving the problems created by [1] itself’. Study the geography of change.

Two more to come.


Managing the Covid-19 pandemic using Viral Change™ principles. 12 rules you can apply.


Read my recent paper which addresses the non-medical management of the pandemic through the lenses of large scale behavioural and cultural change principles, as practiced by the Viral Change™ Mobilizing Platform for the last 20 years, in the area of organizational change.


12 Rules For A Behavioural Counter-Epidemic To Deal With Covid-19   [2]


A viral epidemic for which there is no immediate cure, only ways of managing it, can only be controlled by a counter behavioural epidemic.


Dr Leandro Herrero is the CEO and Chief Organization Architect of The Chalfont Project [3], an international firm of organizational architects. He is the pioneer of Viral ChangeTM, a people Mobilizing Platform, a methodology that delivers large scale behavioural and cultural change in organizations, which creates lasting capacity for changeability.
Dr Herrero is also an Executive Fellow at the Centre for the Future of Organization, Drucker School of Management. An international speaker, Dr Herrero is available for virtual speaking engagements [4] and can be reached at: The Chalfont Project [5].
His latest book, The Flipping point – Deprogramming Management [6], is available at all major online bookstores.