We need executive sponsorship: without clarity of action from the top, there is no imperative for change to occur. But change can’t be driven from the top: it needs to be co-created and co-owned throughout.
At the bottom of the hierarchical structure are people with no remit or permission: we need to create spaces and permissions for them to be agile, to co-create and own parts of the change agenda. But that in itself is not enough.
In the middle sit the layer who are infra-structurally rewarded for the status quo: people who are invested and rewarded by the current structure. To change here, we need engagement with change, which should be magnetic: it’s about creating spaces for people to build reputation and relevance in the new structure.
If it’s done right, it looks like this: Imperative from the top, permission to the bottom and engagement through the middle.
If we get it wrong, it looks like this: awareness at the top, meaningless at the bottom and stasis in the middle.
Where does your organisation sit? How will you change it?
Models include the use of storytelling to build shared purpose, the use of communities of change to give permission and also a recognition of the evolved social contract that impacts on engagement. We also need Social Leadership to provide the community based leadership through change.