Viral Change™ is the way to create a positive social infection. Within an organization, it is the way to manage change, to create and shape a new culture. Pick your goal: a customer-centric culture, one that focuses on safety, a culture of effectiveness or of innovation, or ‘a global culture’ able to succeed across geographic boundaries. These and other cultural transformations are created by the behaviours of individuals and small groups. Not by a top-down dictation from management.
You can map new processes and re-arrange the organization chart. Install a new corporate software (ERP, CRM, etc.) and explain to people why this is good and necessary. Perhaps you’ve done this already and noticed that many people hang on to the old ways. That is because there is no change unless there is behavioural change. It is only when new behaviours have become the norm that you can say that real change has occurred.
But behaviours don’t change via PowerPoint. Behaviours are imitated and copied. Only the spreading of new behaviours – not information – creates a new culture, a new way of doing things, a new life. It is true, positive, social infection that creates change. Sure, you need communication. But communication is not change.
Viral Change™ uses the power of a small set of well-defined and non-negotiable behaviours, spread by small groups of highly connected individuals within the organization. Their peer-to-peer influence – more powerful than hierarchical doctrine – creates new norms, new ways of doing, new cultures. When groups start doing things the new way, other groups follow. Stories of success spread. Stories are memorable, behaviours are contagious… bullet points are not. There are great similarities between biological infection and idea infection. For proof, just look at any social phenomenon.
Viral Change™ is the antithesis of the old traditional management of change. No more slow, painful, expensive and inefficient process with sequential, top-down communication cascading down through all management levels. We help our client organizations create Viral Change™ and we help their leaders re-think and re-invent their role in terms of supporting their internal engine of change. In short, Viral Change™ is the new management of change for the 21st Century.