Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Going Viral

Sue Tupling ( has posted this. Sue is a UK based comms specialist. Sue's business, Changeworks Communications, helps organisations improve performance and make change work through transforming communication and initiating behavioural change programmes

Going Viral
2. September 2008, 19:31

Whilst managers are important in the communication of change and in modelling behavioural change, they also play a criticial role in opening up dialogue within the organisation. Managers do not always have the coaching skills to open up coaching conversations, even less so to encourage those crucial conversations (instead of shying away from them). If managers can be coached to open up such organisational conversations, dialogue, involvement and engagement will follow soon enough.

Coupled with this, viral change is an innovative and highly effective new approach to managing behavioural change in organisations. Essentially, a small set of non negotiable behaviours are defined and a process to encourage and spread these behaviours is adopted. These behaviours are imitated, endorsed by a small network of people, and this spreads new ways of doing things, quickly and effectively. Its strength lies in peer to peer networks, supported by dialogue and conversation, to create sustainable changes and spread and internal ‘infection’ of success.

The approach, masterminded by Leandro Herrero, relies on the organisation behind the org chart. 75% of work conversations occur in the social networks and collaborative space that are active behind the scenes. And relies for its ‘infection’ on the small number of people who have LOTS of connections (we all know one of those).

Coupled with use of metaphor, storytelling, logical levels of change and other tools, this is truly a powerful way of changing culture in a positive (and almost fun) way within a few months (honestly).

You can find out more at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations internal comms conference. Go to our facebook event:

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