Saturday, 23 March 2013

It’s not Nudge! It is the network stupid!


Excellent review by Mathew Taylor. Me, myself and I However as you can see , as he is implying, the UK government is still in love with the  ‘Nudge Theory’ (Richard Thaler, Chicago, Behavioural Economics) behind the Behavioural Insight Unit at the UK Prime Minister Office. This love affair is not breeding much because, as Taylor would criticise referring to a book by Morozov’s

‘the ability to analyze individual behavior in granular detail (…) and the enthusiasm (…)  for behavior-changing interventions based on incentives and ‘gamification‘ leads policy makers to view all social problems as problems of individual modification not social change’

But this is problem created by the Nudge people themselves and the politicians who have believed them. 

As we say in Viral Change (TM)   , triggering behaviours is easy (‘nudge theory’) spread, sustain and maintain is the hard part. 

In Viral Change (TM)  we focus on the hard part, not because any masochistic inclinations but because without understanding spread, scale up, network effects, social influence and reinforcement mechanisms, ‘nudging’ is a disappointing tricking machine, despite its popularity, academic source and political marriages particularly at UK government level.  The ‘Individual modification’ and ‘social change’ of the paragraph above cannot  be reconciled in Nudge but they are in Viral Chang(TM)

We are planning the launch of The Viral Change (TM)Institute, which will have research, communications, education and partnership tracks. The ‘beyond nudge’ (AKA, it’s the network stupid!) will be at the core of the communication arm.

If we could get a tenth of the funding of other more glorious ‘social change initiatives’, with poor track record of changing anything, we could make some impact! All ideas welcome!


Monday, 11 March 2013

4/10 Not top down, not bottom up, its grassroots and multi-centric


Un-managing change
10 lessons from Obamaland to the design of large scale behavioural change in organizations.  Viral Change™ in action series

10 reflections on the conditions for large scale change  as practiced by Viral Change™
by Leandro Herrero

4/10   Not top down, not bottom up, its grassroots and multi-centric 

In organizational life we are used to the dichotomy top-down and bottom up, that is as one being the opposite of the other, Clearly a lot of truth about it. There is an assumption that if you want an opposite to top-down it has to be bottom up. But in organizational terms, and even more as soon as you consider the organization as a social network, the true alternative to an exclusively bottom up approach, that is one-centric is poly-centric. Poli-centric includes the top down.

The successful political campaigns are multi-centric or poli-centric and the Obama campaign was one of them with heavy emphasis on the grassroots ‘centres’.  The localized number of these was significantly greater than the opponent, which it would be wrong to say they did not use a grassroots approach.

Viral Change™ in organizations takes place by orchestrating a multi or polycentric approach.  With the organization as a pyramid – and it could be a big pyramid or a flat(err) pyramid- statistically there are more highly connected and influent people in the bottom. That is why a great majority of champions or activists come  from the lower layers but not exclusively. Viral Change™ takes place at different layers (to continue using a wrong two-dimensional concept)  and peer-to-peer activity ( conversations, engagement, activists role…)  is also taken place at different layers. This is  how a social movement work, sometime spontaneously, vey often truly orchestrated.

In Viral Change we orchestrate large scale behavioural change to create a social movement. Business organizations may not be used to the  term but this is what  it is. That is why studying Obamaland is incredible useful. Viral Change™ is a true trans-disciplinary approach and as such we are constantly integrating insights from many ‘praxis areas’. Mobilizing people and creating  movement – something that political and marketing campaigners do for a living – has not figured very high in the organization life other than a rather bland traditional HR approach to motivation and recognition. Business organizational life ant dist traditional human capital functions find this concept a bit alien. Not anymore. 

I am preparing a series of presentations under the general title of ‘If you run your organization as Obama runs campaigns’ to stress the need to learn from the success ( and its failures) of that social movement . The Viral Change™ Institute, which is in pre-launch state, will have this as one of its research tracks


Viral Change™ Global L.LP. PO Box 1192, HP9 IYQ, United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1494 730999

Viral Change™ is a trademark
Next: 5/10
I am going to vote, what about you? 

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Management Innovation – cutting edge . ‘Disruptive Ideas’ and ‘Reboot’ Seminars by The Chalfont Project


Management innovation does not have to be all systems and process upside down
One shot, one day, little preparation, all hands and brains, your entire team, injection of disruptive ideas which can be actionable the day after: “The Disruptive Ideas Seminar” by The Chalfont Project.
email lucy-marshall@thechalfontproject.com . Management innovation as its best

Cutting edge injection of actionable new thinking
  • What if all teams had a sell-by-date, with automatic end no matter what?
  • What if your teams did not need to meet? A team and a meeting are two different things.
  • What if your aim as leader was to loose control? The more you loose the more you have.
And another 27 or so Disruptive ideas to the test for your entire team.

All one day, all hands, all brains (tip: and it doesn’t get better as a team building)
What if some of them could be implemented at zero cost and make huge impact?

Or..........
Sacred cows, elephants in the room and other cast in daily management at the core of ‘Reboot’, a one day Game Plan crafting for your team: The ‘Reboot’ seminar
Game Plan in one day? Its 2013, yes you can!

·         Contact: lucy-marshall@thechalfontproject.com