The Making Of
A few weeks ago I facilitated a workshop at a SwissCognitive event near Zurich, Switzerland. SwissCognitive is a the “Global Artificial Intelligence Hub” and brings many key players together to present and discuss their AI applications.
The title of the workshop was The Science of Change and it was based on the notion that it is not sufficient enough to have and master the technology behind AI, if you want to transform your business and make it robust for a future in which AI will be basically involved in and change every business process that contains at least some repetitive work.
You also need to change your company’s or organisation’s culture, mindset, processes and so on. In my own words I would say, you need internal (and maybe even external) campaigning, because campaigning is the art of changing individuals’ mindsets, behavior and understanding to make them help you achieve your goals. But in the given context we decided to call it The Science of Change.
So, what exactly do you need to change a company? In my first book “Business Campaigning” it is all written down in detail on 300 pages (in German only) but that would have been way to much for a 45 minutes workshop.
So I decided to reduce it to the max and the outcome was a draft The Science of Change graphic with four triangles, which we then refined during the workshop. I also did slightly more refining after the workshop, as you can see by comparing the following foto and graphic.
The original outcome of the workshop.
The finalized Science of Change Triangles.
How to read and work with this model
First of all you need to be aware that there is no change without communication. To acknowledge must play a central role of everything you do.
It is not sufficient to change the rules, to introduce a new product, to change a product, to change the team, to change the goals or processes or whatever, if you do not communicate with the people who need to understand and implement (just knowing is not enough, you need understanding of why, how and what).
Communication in this context means to listen first, to understand your audience and then to communicate with them in a way that they can understand, that is relevant to them and in a tonality that they appreciate.
The x between change and communication is like a multiplication in mathematics. If one of these factors – change or communication – is zero, if there is no REAL change or no REAL communication, then the exercise will deliver zero results.
Relevance has to do with incentives. Is the change going to make your audience more successful, their lives more entertaining or bringing some sort of convenience to their lives or relief from pain? – If not, go back, do your homework and change the incentives.
It is obvious that changing an organisation requires some changes within the organisation. Things to think about are: processes (innovation, sales, marketing, communication etc.), culture (official and unspoken rules that everybody follows, including rituals) and – of course, in this context – technology.
Last not least, people (stakeholders, employees, management etc.) need to change their behavior, their understanding and their mindset if the envisioned changes shall be implemented successfully. This is why I say, campaigning is the art of changing people’s mindset, behavior and/or understanding, to make them help you achieve your goals.
It is important to mention that you need to see them as individuals not as abstract target groups. Only then you will understand what really drives them and be able to identify the appropriate measures.
This simple model will allow you to identify everything you need in order to change an organisation of any kind for whatever purpose that you may have. I have used it – in a more complex and sophisticated version – since more than 20 years, among others to create the Open Forum at the World Economic Forum in Davos, to change the campaigning of a political party in Switzerland so that they achieved 24% more votes and to launch a new product with a four times higher market share than a parallel and conventional advertising campaign achieved.
But what this model could really be used for is to change our economy and society towards a more sustainable approach.
Digitization is only one of two mega trends and challenges we are facing today as societies and the human race. The other one is climate change and I am happy to discuss how we can change our economies and societies so that we can make this planet an even better place to stay. It is the only one we have and I am happy to share my knowledge with everyone who is willing to take on the challenge.
Let’s change the world altogether.