With the recent events erupting in the Middle East, beginning with the overthrow of the 30-year rule of President Muburak in Egypt, it reinforces that fact that with the implementation of any new ideas- change is the inevitable result. In order to do that, we must take a neutral view beyond politics and protests and look at the process itself.
If we attempt to look at these world changes through the traditional lens of “managing change” with a top down approach and an orderly plan with defined stages, then there is a mismatch with these world events that is difficult to explain or understand.
If we shift our thinking and start to understand change in today’s world as “starting a movement”, then the whole idea of creating change become more clear, more powerful and certainly more exciting.
The changes in Egypt started with a small group of people who were passionate and courageous about their ideas and started a protest. With the use of social media that protest started to spread much faster than the government forces could react. After a short 21 days, the whole country was deadlocked in a situation where the President had no choice but to step down. A small movement changed the whole political landscape.
The same opportunity to “create change” exists in organizations as well. How many times have we been involved in creating great and wonderful new ideas that will impact the way we do our business. We roll them out by “managing change”, and are frustrated by the lack of enthusiasm for all of our great efforts.
Following that shift in thinking to “starting a movement” would be directing efforts towards a group of individuals in the organization who can get excited and passionate about new ideas. Support or train them to find ways to brand and expand the movement one group at a time until it takes on a life of it’s own.
The secret to starting a movement is to not only engage their minds but to engage their hearts, emotions and values. You must have a compelling story to tell that touches people at an individual level. Every great change starts with one individual but it is the collective emotional charge that keeps every great change alive.
Go out and create a movement with your creative new idea for the future and you will be very surprised at what an exciting and powerful journey it will become.