9 changes towards transformation

I’ve been thinking a bunch about the challenges of making cultural transformation in the organizations I work with here at Groundwire.  It’s a tough challenge.  The first step, it seems, is about naming the changes we want to help folks make.

Here are some rough notes that popped out as I was gathering my thoughts for a meeting.  I’d love to know what thoughts they provoke for you.

From –> To

    1. Broadcast –> Dialogue
    2. Formal –> Conversational
    3. Organizational voice –> Personal voice
    4. Goals –> Values
    5. Centralized communications –> Distributed through many channels
    6. Intuitive decisions –> Data driven decisions
    7. Master planned –> Continual refinement toward clear big picture goals
    8. Set the agenda –> Respond to what’s hot that fits your goals & values
    9. Always the center of collaborations –> Partner more, and more informally

      4 thoughts on “9 changes towards transformation”

      1. Hey Jon,

        I think these are great, a good distillation of the thought patterns orgs need to adopt to communicate well online. My work for the past year has involved more traditional consulting than previous staff roles, and I have experienced first hand the resistance to these organizational shifts.

        I think points 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 are the hardest sells, mainly because they involve a shift to greater transparency and require a strong argument for the ROI for time spent. Entering an open dialogue with supporters freaks many orgs out, and they are skeptical that opening more comms channels, in a personal voice and conversational tone will enhance the public’s perceptions of them.

        The other transformations, on the other hand, almost sell themselves because they make sense to most people. Who doesn’t want to make their decisions based on relevant data? Most orgs I know love to jump on ‘what’s hot’ if it fits their goals. And being against partnering, in campaigning at least, is like being against media relations.

        I don’t have any quick answers for these challenges, but I have to say it’s nice to see you working it through.

      2. Thanks, Eric! I agree, it is very uncomfortable for many advocacy organizations to embrace greater transparency — especially those that have built up (or think they have built up) strong “inside” games. I think it is easier for the “up and coming” insurgents, but those groups often struggle to convert their grassroots energy into concrete wins.
        I’m not as sure that they “easy sells” are really that easy. While it’s true that you won’t often get a lot of explicit resistance to them, they all require big changes to “business as usual” that demand a lot of time and energy and it’s very easy to simply not follow through.

      3. I like the list….been doing something similar myself but framed as ‘Dilemmas’ rather than ‘from to’

        private – public
        own – share
        knowledge – assumption

      4. Thanks, Gavin! I’m curious to hear more about the last one… knowlege <-> assumptions.

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