Thursday, 13 March 2008

How to change a country?

For those of us passionate about change in organisations, looking at change outside the enterprise is a learning treat. Social and political change is no different from organisational change. The only differences are the context, the scope and the interdependencies between individuals/players. What they all have in common is that human beings are the protagonists of change. Though it is unusual for me to write about non-organisational change in this blog, I am making a pleasurable exception today.

Imagine a politically conservative head of state asking a Marxist philosopher to gather ‘brains’ from all over (inside and outside the country), including all views and all political, social and technical positions. And then asking them to make suggestions on how to change the nation and create growth. This is not political fiction, nor fable, social experimentation or a PhD in democracy. It is simply France in 2008.

This remarkable process took place between July 2007 and January 2008. The head of state, of course, is Sarkozy; the Marxist philosopher is Jacques Attali and the invited brains consisted of 43 people from academia, consulting, finance, enterprises (big and small), journalism, etc. The outcome is published in the book 300 décisions pour changer la France. Rapport de la Commission pour la libération de la croissance française. (XO Editions, 2008, ISBN 978-2-84-563-373-5 - see also www.liberationdelacroissance.fr

300 proposals have become de facto ‘decisions’, as the President of France indicated that he is in a hurry and that everything needs to be implemented by October 2009. The proposals are fascinating to read, whether you agree with all of them or not. Incidentally, the 43 invitees signed off on all the ‘decisions’, even if some of them may not have been their real cup of tea, all in the interest of the common goal: to get France back to full employment and growth and change for good. Several lessons can be drawn from this for us as change evangelists/addicts/infectors:

  1. Timeframe. It is possible to generate high quality change proposals in a shorter period of time. Six months for the above task is pretty good. They did not just sit around a table and chat, but they had numerous consultations with people and institutions, all documented in the fascinating final written output.
  2. The membership was heterogeneous, which avoided the development of groupthink.
  3. When the goal is worth it, challenging, exciting, etc. people roll up their sleeves and set aside tribal loyalties. And I often wonder how many ‘projects’ in our organisations have an element of excitement, discovery and ‘destiny’ (even with a small ‘d’, as I described in The Leader with Seven Faces). Many ‘activities’ are only geared towards changing the oil of the organisation instead of towards true transformation. Also, how many tribal discussions and turf wars jeopardise projects worth doing?
  4. There is public commitment. The president has set public deadlines and has put a mechanism in place to make sure that they will be met. According to the report, this is a sort of ‘Delivery Office’ copied from Tony Blair. There is no hiding from it.

I think that this process is a model for many things, for example energy behind exciting goals and leadership (Attali is a fine, well-respected mind and author. His latest book is Une brève histoire de l’avenir)

The process and the report are not change per se, just like a massive communication programme within an organisation is not change either. But this is a good, impressive start. To the French: chapeau!

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Cause-effect and Interventions

In this fifth instalment, we take a look at how Viral Change differs from the traditional change management in its view on cause-effect and interventions in the organisation.

The conventional approach is linear dynamics territory: big problems require big changes and a proportionate change management programme. Change progresses in a steady, measurable way (milestones and calendars). The programme has a distinct Tsunami effect and the bigger the tsunami the better. ‘We have to catch all at the same time with the same intensity’

Viral Change, however, has a clear non-linear dynamics view: big changes may require a small set of key and meaningful actions or (new) behaviours. The programme resembles the butterfly management effect: small initial change in key areas suddenly appears widespread, possibly ‘revolutionary’ (phase transition and tipping points).

If you want to read more about Viral Change, you can read it all in my book of the same title: Viral Change: the alternative to slow, painful and unsuccessful management of change in organisations.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Leandro Herrero keynote speaker at the eyeforpharma Sales Force Effectiveness Europe conference 2008

Leandro Herrero - a leading organisational consultant and CEO of The Chalfont Project Ltd (www.thechalfontproject.com) – will be a keynote speaker at eyeforpharma’s 6th Annual Pharma Conference - Sales Force Effectiveness Europe 2008 in Barcelona.

Dr Leandro Herrero, founder and CEO of The Chalfont Project Ltd (www.thechalfontproject.com) – an international firm of organisational consultants - will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming eyeforpharma Sales Force Effectiveness Europe Conference 2008.

Dr Herrero will address conference attendees on April 2nd 2008 during his keynote speech, entitled: Pharma SFE 2.0 – How to go beyond ‘more-of-the-same’ processes, IT, and standard solutions and engage in true business transformation’.

In his speech, he will discuss the following:

  • Five key transformations still on the to-do list:how to jump from ‘me-too’ evolution to true organisational leadership
  • Overcoming the pharma change management motto: ‘Change is great, you go first’
  • ‘The emperor has no clothes’ and your CRM has no customers: is customer-centrism in pharma a myth?
  • Seven deadly fallacies in pharma SFE: how business transformation is impaired by disconnected structures, processes and behaviours

He will also touch on further transformations of Sales Force Effectiveness models, with focus on new Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 technologies that have the potential to redesign organisational cultures.

A book signing has been scheduled for Dr Leandro Herrero at lunchtime on 2nd April, immediately following his address. Attendees will have the opportunity for an informal conversation with Dr. Herrero and signed copies of all his books will be available for purchase.

Dr Leandro Herrero practised as a psychiatrist for more than fifteen years before taking up senior management positions in several leading companies, both in the UK and the US. He is founder and CEO of The Chalfont Project Ltd, an international firm of organisational consultants. Taking advantage of his behavioural sciences background, coupled with his hands-on business experience, he works with organisations of many kinds on structural and behavioural change, leadership and human collaboration. He has published several books, among which The Leader with Seven Faces, Viral Change and New Leaders Wanted (www.meetingminds.com).

The Chalfont Project Ltd (www.thechalfontproject.com) is an international consulting firm of organisation architects with a long-standing presence in the bio-pharmaceutical industry.

The eyeforpharma 6th Annual Pharma Conference - Sales Force Effectiveness Europe 2008 is an in-depth exploration of the latest strategies, tools and best practices to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales force. The eyeforpharma Sales Force Effectiveness Europe conference will take place at the CCIB, Rambla Prim 1-17, 08019 Barcelona, Spain from Wednesday 2nd April 2008 through to Friday 4th April 2008. Mention ‘SPK08’ as a discount code and receive a discount of €550.00 of the standard registration price when you register here.

Leandro Herrero to host workshop at the eyeforpharma Sales Force Effectiveness Europe conference 2008

Leandro Herrero - a leading organisational consultant and CEO of The Chalfont Project Ltd (www.thechalfontproject.com) – will be hosting a workshop at eyeforpharma’s 6th Annual Pharma Conference - Sales Force Effectiveness Europe 2008 in Barcelona.

Leandro Herrero, founder and CEO of The Chalfont Project Ltd (www.thechalfontproject.com) – an international firm of organisational consultants - will be hosting a workshop at the upcoming eyeforpharma Sales Force Effectiveness Europe Conference 2008. Dr Herrero will be addressing pharmaceutical industry experts and innovators from all over the world, focussing on how to improve Sales Force Effectiveness through Behavioural Change the Viral Change way.

Dr Herrero has personally led multiple organisational and cultural changes by applying the Viral ChangeTM-way, which is described in his book Viral Change: the alternative to slow, painful and unsuccessful management of change in organisations (meetingminds, December 2006)

Viral Change as a form of management of change is completely different from the conventional way,” Dr Herrero says. “It represents a truly new way of producing and sustaining changes. In Viral Change mode, a small set of behaviours, spread by a small number of internal activists, propagated like an internal infection of new ideas or routines creates long-lasting, faster and sustainable real change. Viral Change is closer to the dynamics of fashions, fads and infections than to standard management practices. Through Viral Change, the leader’s goal is to create an internal epidemic of success!”

A book signing has been scheduled for Dr Leandro Herrero at lunchtime on 2nd April, immediately following his keynote address. Attendees will have the opportunity for an informal conversation with Dr. Herrero and signed copies of all his books will be available for purchase following both his keynote address and the workshop.

Dr Leandro Herrero practised as a psychiatrist for more than fifteen years before taking up senior management positions in several leading companies, both in the UK and the US. He is founder and CEO of The Chalfont Project Ltd, an international firm of organisational consultants. Taking advantage of his behavioural sciences background, coupled with his hands-on business experience, he works with organisations of many kinds on structural and behavioural change, leadership and human collaboration. He has published several books, among which The Leader with Seven Faces, Viral Change and New Leaders Wanted (www.meetingminds.com).

The Chalfont Project Ltd (www.thechalfontproject.com) is an international consulting firm of organisation architects with a long-standing presence in the bio-pharmaceutical industry.

The eyeforpharma 6th Annual Pharma Conference - Sales Force Effectiveness Europe 2008 is an in-depth exploration of the latest strategies, tools and best practices to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales force. The eyeforpharma Sales Force Effectiveness Europe conference will take place at the CCIB, Rambla Prim 1-17, 08019 Barcelona, Spain from Wednesday 2nd April 2008 through to Friday 4th April 2008. Mention ‘SPK08’ as a discount code and receive a discount of €550.00 of the standard registration price when you register here.

Disruptive Ideas achieve bigger results

Disruptive Ideas – the forthcoming new book by Leandro Herrero – shows organisations that all you need is a small set of disruptive ideas or powerful rules to create big impact.

In a time when organisations simultaneously run multiple corporate initiatives and large change programmes, Disruptive Ideas tells us that - contrary to the collective mindset that says that big problems need big solutions – all you need is a small set of powerful rules to create big cultural change.

In his previous book, Viral Change™, Leandro Herrero described how a small set of behaviours, spread by a small number of people could create sustainable change. In Disruptive Ideas, the follow-up book to Viral Change™, the author suggests a menu of 10 ‘structures’, 10 ‘processes’ and 10 ‘behaviours’ that have the power to transform any organisation of any size.

These 30 disruptive ideas can be implemented at any time and at almost no cost and what’s more...you don’t even need them all. But their compound effect – the 10+10+10 maths - will be more powerful than vast corporate programmes with dozens of objectives and efficiency targets.

This book will appeal to people at different levels of management or leadership, who want to reshape their culture by enhancing working practices and in general aim at greater organisational effectiveness. Its practical nature will appeal to all who want to implement key ideas – some of them contrarian or counterintuitive - that have the power to transform the organisation without having to embark upon a massive change management programme.

Leandro Herrero was a practicing psychiatrist for many years before holding senior leadership positions in top league business organisations. He is currently CEO of The Chalfont Project Ltd, an international group of organisational consultants, which he co-founded. His previous books include The Leader with Seven Faces, Viral Change and New Leaders Wanted – Now Hiring!, also published by meetingminds.

Disruptive Ideas, 10+10+10=1000: the maths of Viral Change that transform organisations
by Leandro Herrero
meetingminds, April 2008
£18.50/US $26.00, Paperback, 300 pages - ISBN: 978-1-905776-04-7
Available to pre-order at: www.waterstones.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.meetingminds.com and many other (online) bookshops and outlets.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Different processes and systems

In item 4 of my list, I want to talk about how both Viral Change and traditional change management view the organisational processes and systems.

In the conventional approach, processes and systems are kept inside and well-defined so that the majority in that distribution can repeat them and ensure consistency. Predictability is key.

Viral Change, on the other hand, acknowledges formal processes and systems, but management in Viral Change(TM) mode are very sensitive to the risk of those processes and systems taking over organisational life. Emphasis on behaviours is needed to support processes, versus processes creating behaviours.

If you want to read more about Viral Change, you can read it all in my book of the same title: Viral Change: the alternative to slow, painful and unsuccessful management of change in organisations.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Viral Change distributes people differently

The third item in my list focuses on how different the distribution of people is as seen from the two angles: conventional approach and Viral Change.

In the conventional approach, everything from ‘quality of the components’ to ‘flow’ assumes a bell curve distribution. Management practices consistent with this: communication reaches (or has to reach) the majority of people; change practices need to involve the majority under-the-curve acknowledging that there will be sigma deviations at both sides, for example, casualties of people who ‘will never change’.

However, in Viral Change, the organisation is a network and follows the power laws of networks where (1) a few people have multiple connections, (2) those with greater connections and perhaps influence will continue to have more and (3) spread of information, communication, influence, new behaviours new habits, etc., happens via 'tipping points'.

If you want to read more about Viral Change, you can read it all in my book of the same title: Viral Change: the alternative to slow, painful and unsuccessful management of change in organisations.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Different ‘structures’ in Viral Change

Instalment two in the differences between Viral Change and the conventional change management approach shows that Viral Change sees the ‘structures’ of the organisation differently.

In the conventional approach, connections are established in a tree-like way. Organisation of ‘collaborative spaces’ takes place mainly by design: teams, task forces, committees, ‘solid lines’ and ‘dotted lines’. There is acknowledgment of the existence of a looser network of connections but it’s mainly seen as noise, or an informal communication system which is impossible to tap into, quantify or manage.

Viral Change sees the organisation as a complex system of connections, with high adaptation capabilities. Some of the connections have been formalized by design, providing relatively stable platforms of collaboration (teams, etc.) This designed architecture is superimposed to a far bigger and looser, non-designed, (‘emergent’) network of connections, or structure. A healthy dynamics between the ‘designed’ and ‘emergent’ is the key for effectiveness and success.

If you want to read more about Viral Change, you can read it all in my book of the same title: Viral Change: the alternative to slow, painful and unsuccessful management of change in organisations.