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Know Your Tribe, Be Your Tribe
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dankeldsen
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dankeldsen,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/5/2012 | 9:33:07 PM
re: Know Your Tribe, Be Your Tribe
Thanks for the commentary - glad to hear that the big picture found a connection to your experiences. A "culture of complaining" and "change is hard" is a very common occurrence. Often, the normal expectation, eh?

I'll take another stab at the "tribe" analogy... please let me know if this does or does not help.

In the "traditional" management of companies, there is a tremendously unhealthy "us vs them" mentality.

At the least, it's management vs. the shop floor, cube dwellers, warehouse employees, etc.. The proto-typical "command and control" structure.

Let's call that a war of two tribes (management vs. non-management).

Even though everyone knows full well that they all work for the same organization and *should* be "one tribe" - they are effectively two tribes, and without any finesse, they act as two completely different, "foreign" tribes to each other.

In more extreme cases, and also, much more the norm than the exception, there are nearly infinite clashing tribes - based on departmental lines, sub-department lines, based on tenure with the organization, management vs. non, acquired companies vs. HQ, regional/geographic divisions, different campuses, etc..

My comment on the "know your tribe, be your tribe" front - is that while change *can* be hard, it is FAR harder, at an organizational level, if change is FORCED on one "tribe" from another tribe.

Change management can be much more successful and (at least) easier, when you have bridges, ladders, diplomats, representatives WITHIN each of the tribes, rather than coming from "them."

Then the change isn't forced by an "outsider" (some other tribe) - but is coming from within the tribe, and is less threatening because it's coming from "one of us."

We're a herding species - and depending on who's numbers you believe, the "innovators" who will willingly jump in and lead the way with any new change, are somewhere around 2.5% of the population.

The potential "first followers" are another 13.5% after that, and the rest make up the majority who are waiting for consensus/social proof to show that it's safe to join a movement.

(These #s come from Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, Fifth Edition 2003 - which was the pre-cursor of Geoffrey Moore's Crossing the Chasm model)

If you don't go about finding those initial toeholds of innovators in each tribe/division (who are often friends with other innovators in other tribes), and tap their immediate network of those they influence, then all too often, change management runs straight into a brick wall, and the change effort stops flat. Boom! Done.

So... find your tribes, find your tribe innovators, find your tribal first followers, and build your change team to BE the tribe. It's a lot of work, but increases the odds of success MASSIVELY.

Sound reasonable?

Dan
herman_munster
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herman_munster,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/29/2012 | 9:28:57 PM
re: Know Your Tribe, Be Your Tribe
I don't really get the "tribe" analogy you were making but, I understand the larger point and agree with it wholeheartedly - change management can be a royal pain (or at least that's what I perceived it to be).

I, too, have had very mixed reactions to changes I've pushed through - typically negative reactions to technologies that made everyone's life easier. "It's different and that's bad", "I'd rather complain about the old system than learn the new one", etc.


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