The flickering beam of light in the darkness would have been the cause of celebration for many a sailor: a lighthouse, projecting it’s location many miles out to sea, carrying both direction and hope. Lighthouses are tall, strongly built to withstand the crashing waves and high to send their messages far and wide. They speak with a regular pulse, a clear call in the darkness, an innate authority. Which is why we need lighthouses when our organisations are undergoing change.
I’m finishing off some aspects of writing around the Dynamic Change model, and this piece follows on from yesterdays work around ‘The Foundations of Change‘. It explores the middle part of the model, where we have created our embryonic change communities and are now embedding them back into the organisation itself. As we do so, we are not speaking at volume, so we need amplifiers, our lighthouses, to stand as beacons, signalling the new found direction of change.
It’s important to understand amplification: the fuel of social communities. Good ideas travel far, good stories persist. So to be effective, we need to craft strong narratives and we need to curate a community of people who will critique and share them. Understanding this is key to building momentum and, ultimately, driving change.
As we planned for change and worked to move the organisation away from ‘Resistance‘ and towards ‘Constrained‘, we engaged with a small community of motivated and dynamic individuals: community pioneers. As we move forward, bringing this nascent community back into the organisation, we need to develop, support and reward these people: we need to reinforce the foundations that we will rely on in later stages of change.
Lighthouses need to stand on strong foundations: and the foundation for our community is trust and collaboration. Get this right and we can build up from there.
As we bring the community inwards, we should recognise and reward those early adopters, those preliminary agents of change.
Social recognition is important as it both recognises individual effort and also confers Social Authority: the authority that is consensual of the community. As people generate greater Social Authority, they are more able to rally communities around their ideas, to amplify their thinking further, to achieve more.