I’ve come from a few beers with some pretty interesting thinkers tonight. Many a great thing was discussed over a Mountain Goat beer (or two) but one of the more interesting things to come out of our conversations was the concept of change management, and installing functions to support that.
As you would know, and as many others are discussing now, Brand Me is real. People are defining their working lives not as professions or roles, but brands and value added. What you can do and what value you can create for an organisation are very different propositions. Often, to create real and systemic value in an organisation you have to embed it in the culture of the place (or group). To do this, you often have to introduce new infrastructure – whether that’s mental (new mental models to solve problems), Physical (new office space or way of organising your physical space to maximise flow) or technological (technical introductions or enhancements that help you do work better).
There’s plenty of examples here to draw from. Keith Don, a fellow colleague at World Vision, was hired to project manage our new digital strategy. Whilst Keith had brought a huge amount of knowledge to the role, the key piece of infrastructure he has brought is his strategic frame of view. He has forced many in the organisation to, for the first time, consider WHY they want a new website, WHY they want to do this piece of social media or WHY do people want to do whatever it is they, well, want to do. That strategic framework is hugely important when trying to create an innovation culture. I’ve had the privilege to get beside ‘Kbama’ and push my shoulder against the Jim Collins flywheel to help create change, and through his work we have begun to see mindsets and mental models shift to very cool places. This is just one example of someone installing new mental infrastructure to an organisation. Alice Clements, now of Scaffidi Hugh-Jones, has introduced Skype to her work environment to increase the knowledge sharing and virtual communication between herself and her peers. Col Duthie, of Ergo, moved his whole business to a new physical location to help drive a new identity after a re-branding. He now writes very succinctly and insightfully at the Ergo blog. The list goes on…
So, when you next go into an organisation, consider this question. What do you, as a brand and person, install that helps move things towards a better outcome?