In Part 1 of this series, I showed that the people are ready for the transformation of the organization to a more social and networked model. In Part 2, I showed the situation where an established leader of a leading traditional organization had to make such a massive change.
Today, let's look at at what such a change process might be like and why having a network like Change Agents Worldwide as your facilitators would make sense.
Cultural Change is like going to live in another country - it is not a mechanical process
Imagine if you lived in rural Ireland in the 1880's.
Your first language might not be English. Your culture would be of a peasant in a state ruled by a foreign power who made all the rules without any participation by you. Your master would be English who lived a very different life than you. You would not own your farm and could be dispossed at any time. Millions had been already. But this was the only life that you knew. It was your normal. It was your culture. You were criticized by your masters for not having more self initiative. But there was never going to be any change to this, so long as you lived in Ireland.
Now you have a brother who lives in New York. He writes to you often about life in America. You and your family share his letters that are read to you by the priest. For you do not know how to read. You get a sense that his life is better. It is hard in New York but he has hope. Especially he has hope for his kids, who are at school. Who can read and speak English. Your nephew is going to join the police where a cousin is a sergeant. Your brother is deeply involved in politics and has become part of the Irish group that runs the local ward.
What you hear above all, is that your brother has much more opportunity and freedom than you do in Ireland. But, so long as you continue to live in Ireland, you cannot get free of the grip of your local culture.
You cannot become like your brother so long as you stay home. This is the critical issue.
This is where your brother lives and he and his family become American by being immersed in the new culture. Nearly every rule that governed life in the old country is the opposite here.
This is what it means to have cultural change!
Some observations about what cultural change is and so how to experience it
Culture can only be learned by prolonged immersion - Culture is a set of unspoken rules about social habits and expectations that are shared by a community. Like a language, or like learning to drive a car or to fly a plane, they have to be habituated. So they can only be learned by an immersive process.
So, no amount of books, courses and tuition will change a culture. Nor will orders to change how you think or live. Nor will teachers who are not of the new culture themselves. But this is how we have been used to "Change" in organizations.
So You Can't Change the Whole Place at Once - The Irish went to New York one family or one Village at a time. The whole of Ireland did not cross at one time.
In part 2 we saw that Fisher built Dreadnoughts one ship at a time. He could not transform the whole Navy at once.
It is best to use the Adoption Theory process here. Start with the most ready. Work it out with them. Then enlist them to help with the next most ready and so on. Peers must help peers. Successful immigrants create support systems in the new place. The Irish who were resented by many, organized to look after each other and dominated neighbourhoods, polictics and the police.
Rely mainly on peers to help each new wave. Tell lots of stories. Enable folks to hold real power in the new.
Set Up Facilitating Structures to support and accelerate - Make it easy! - Major Shipping lines redesigned their entire business to support mass immigration. They redesigned their ships, marketing, costs to focus on this group. This was where they made their money too! Ellis Island was set up to facilitate the arrival process too.
There will be the equivalent processes for a process to help a large organization make the shift.
Build a New World - In the 1880's, immigrants got on a ship and went to a new world literally. By so doing, they could leave the old behind and be immersed in the new. You have to create this reality too.
You can't still be in Ireland and become American.
A new culture has to be embodied. People have to move to a new place in physical terms where the new rules apply and that is organized itself according to the new rules. You cannot still live in an Irish Rural Village and try and be American. The Dreadnought was very different from older ships.
This implies not only a new kind of web environment but a new approach to face to face and what is an office - if there is an office!
Summary of the Work
This is not your typical "Change Management Process". It is not about engineering. It is about understanding how humans behave.
It is a dance rather than a set meal.
It is all about trust and in the end it is about love. This is not a term used much in business but it is a term understood in the high performing part of the military. The consultant cannot be the outsider. The consultant has to become the client. Such an assigment might take many years to complete.
Such work demands a long term partnership with advisors who know their place. For in this work 99% of the work has to be done by the client or it will fail. Such an approach demands a certain kind of ego and native experience.
It is this high leverage that keeps the costs down for the client. The consulting costs are trivial when compared to the effort put in by the client.
So why hire CAWW to help you do this?
We have a unique perspective of Old and New - There are 2 types of people in CAW. There are those like me who have been natives of the new culture for a very long time. We know it not because we have read a few articles but because we have long since left the old country and we are natives of the new. Natives who not only know all about this by experience but also have ourselves large networks of support and talent.
There are also others who are still in the corporate world. They are like portals into the system that has to be changed. So CAWW lives both in the old and in the new country.
We have created a New Country - Whether we are a freelancer or still have a job in CAWW - we both inhabit a new country that models the form and behaviour of what your new country may be like.
We have leadership in a vast range of related issues - Every area of concern has at least one leader in CAWW. If there might be a missing aspect, the network can fill the gap.
We are global and have great diversity - Members are of many nationalities and so can help with the cultural nuances of a global customer. Being global, we are also on call 24/7.
CAWW does not have the cost burn rate that drives the need to bill typically - There is no office. There is no senior partner overide. There are no recuiting costs. The admin costs are tiny compared to a conventional practice. CAWW is a true network.