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Lessons on Creating a Movement
Lessons on Creating a Movement
Lessons on Creating a Movement
Lessons on Creating a Movement
Lessons on Creating a Movement
Lessons on Creating a Movement
Lessons on Creating a Movement
Lessons on Creating a Movement
Lessons on Creating a Movement
Lessons on Creating a Movement
Lessons on Creating a Movement
Lessons on Creating a Movement
Lessons on Creating a Movement
Lessons on Creating a Movement
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Lessons on Creating a Movement

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I delivered this presentation to the undergraduate DesignMatters class at Art Center College of Design. The class is embarking on an effort to "create a movement" that inspires future investment in …

I delivered this presentation to the undergraduate DesignMatters class at Art Center College of Design. The class is embarking on an effort to "create a movement" that inspires future investment in ocean exploration. The talk explores key lessons I've learned from my work in organizational change and employee engagement - and how we can think about driving systemic change through empowered local communities.

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  • 1. hi.Morgan MarzecArt Center • DesignMattersMay 2013Saturday, June 8, 13• Same situation as you - I’m learning design as a graduate student in the Media Design Practices - Field Program• My prior professional experience was helping large organizations engage people to change...I chose this profession to live my passion: I want to change the world. Since many of the world’s largest economies arecorporations, they are in a sense the world’s largest citizens. I saw a great opportunity to change the world by changing itslargest citizens.• I worked in an organizational context...focusing on leadership, organizational communications and employee engagement.• World is leaning toward design... people who can work across domains and innovate• I don’t believe in “experts,” so I’m here today to share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned through my experiences along theway. I’ve focused my content specifically on “behavior change” and community building in context of creating a “movement”
  • 2. Saturday, June 8, 13- It’s a biological fact...We don’t like change.- Our brains are programmed to buck it.- Has to do with evolution and the need to survive.- Brains = neural network. Dynamic learning systems.- As we gain experiences, our brains create connections and then shortcuts that enable us to act “without thinking”- So what was once a learned behavior, starts to function as instinctual- Makes sense thousands of years ago, when we had to react quickly to predators. Has a weird affect in the current context- General functioning of the brain...it creates shortcuts and we tend to see situations within our existing neural frameworksAdditional Reading Resources:Stephanie Pace Marshall - The Power to Transform: Leadership That Brings Schooling to LifeDavid Rock - The Neurosciene of LeadershipMeg Wheatley - Leadership and the New ScienceSo you think that our survival instinct or the instinct for self preservation would be the strongest drive in people.But that’s not the case.
  • 3. changedie?orSaturday, June 8, 13Question asked through a study by Johns Hopkins (2003-2005)Looked at patients whose heart disease is so bad that they need to undergo coronary-artery bypass surgeryShort fix = surgery. Stop the disease from killing them = change their lifestyles – better diets, exercise, reduce stress, stop smoking, etc.Results were startling… “If you look at people after coronary-artery bypass surgery two years later, 90% of them have not changed their lifestyle.”
  • 4. Source: FastCompany, May 2005, “Change or Die”given the option9out of 10won’t changeSaturday, June 8, 13So given the option – change or die – the odds are against us 9 to 1.What does that say to you? What do you take away from that study?• Tough for individuals to change – even in a life or death situation; and,• “Crisis is the best motivator” not true;My first lesson is: Fear does not motivate sustainable change. To create a movement that has real momentum that can carrybeyond a limited time horizon, you must tap into people’s sense of possibility and purpose.
  • 5. “He’s exactly the kind of man I’ve always wanted to change.”Saturday, June 8, 13- Which leads into the question...how do you get people to change their behavior? I’ll start with another cartoon...- What makes this cartoon funny is a fundamental truth.- Show of hands...how many of you have dated someone who wanted you to change?- How did that make you feel? ...Lousy. No one likes to be “fixed.”- And any clinical psychologist will tell you...you’re crazy. Doesn’t work. You cannot change people’s behavior.- The power to change behavior rests with the individual alone.
  • 6. © 2013 Gagen MacDonald LLCSaturday, June 8, 13- So if you can’t change someone’s behavior, what can you do?- I’ve used this model with clients to help them reframe the opportunity...- People behave in a certain way because they hold certain beliefs to be true. Those beliefs, in turn, are shaped by their thinking. And their thinkingcomes from their personal experiences with the world, others, family, etc.- Rather than focusing on trying to change people’s behavior (which we already established doesn’t work), think about ways to create new experiencesthat will create opportunities for new thinking.- Think of experiences on an individual or collective level- Not just big moments...think about the little things that shape someone’s experience.EXAMPLE: What shapes your experience at ACCD? So if you wanted to change the culture at ACCD, you’d start there...by understanding andtargeting those experiences that shape people’s beliefs about the institution.My second lesson: If you want to inspire behavior change...don’t try to fix people; rather empathize with and really understand the experiencesthat shape people’s beliefs and how they engage with the world.
  • 7. Saturday, June 8, 13- Think about communications...not just as words or images...but actions.- The most powerful communications are multi-dimensional...And connect heads, hearts and hands....Heads: Providing clarity and information (What are you asking of me?)...Hearts: Inspiration (Why should I care?)...Hands: Action (What can I do?)Lesson: Think about creating a movement...your work must operate across these three dimensions....Information alone creates the obligatory push...Inspiration alone can create false starts and missed commitments...Action alone creates chaos...less impactWhich brings me to our role as change agents...as leaders.How many of you have heard of the term “first follower?” A couple years ago, Derek Sivers shared this analogy which really helped me get my headaround it...
  • 8. lessons from a dancing guySource: Derek Sivers, 2010Saturday, June 8, 13- I like it because it physicalizes...quite literally...the idea of a movement.- The key lessons...Importance of Followership- Courage to start something- Simple so other people can engage- More courage to invite others and let go...let them shape it, change it make it their own (another interesting thing about the way our brains work)- Movement isn’t about who starts it...it’s more about how its sustained through a broader communityThe opportunity for you...considering who are you going to target in your communications and outreach? Who are most likely to be your “first followers”?Who would have the most influence to get others to join?
  • 9. communitycommunitySaturday, June 8, 13At the heart of every movement is a strong sense of community. Think about the communities to which you belong. What makes you feel like youbelong to a community?- Shared values: Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are two examples. Both groups organize around shared values, but their expression and action aroundthose values take different forms.- Social capital: Social networks have value. Expected collective benefits derived from cooperation between individuals and groups. Screwdriver =physical capital; University education = cultural capital...leading to productivity. Health of community determined by strength of relationships.KEY CHALLENGE FOR THIS TEAM...in context of a shared value of individualism, how to create sense of social capital?- Associational life: See the limits to systems. Groups of people voluntarily coming together to do some good. Not everything can be solved by policyor process. Need to create space in the system for people to interact and connect organically, informally.- The power to contribute: Belief that people have the innate ability to solve challenges themselves. Create space for people to contribute their greatestgifts and talents and you’ll see real momentum.Additional Reading Resources:- Meg Wheatley, Walk Out, Walk On- Paul Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse & Revival of the American Community
  • 10. Leadership is conveningThe small group is the unit of transformationQuestions are more transforming than answersSix conversations materialize belonging:• Invitation• Possibility• Ownership• Dissent• Commitment• GiftsHospitality is centralPhysical and social space support belongingThe Alchemy of BelongingPeter Block, based on Christopher AlexanderSaturday, June 8, 13- I’m still learning about community. A fundamental shift that designers and communicators I believe need to make is shifting from focusing on“audiences” to focusing on “stakeholders.” The difference is more than semantics. It’s the difference in ownership and how you think about leadership inyour effort.- I always like to hear about what other people are reading...this is one of the books on my nightstand.- In a movement, especially in today’s socially-networked reality, leadership is not about being the “hero”...the “expert with all of the answers.” More andmore, people are realizing that effective leadership and leadership that builds a strong, committed community serves as a “host”...people who bringothers together and create the space for them to contribute their greatest gifts.- Christopher Alexander’s work posits that transformation occurs through the work of small, local units. We know this intrinsically...that the great “masterplanners” of the 20th Century would not be best situated to address the issues of the 21st century’s globalized, networked reality. Block explores how wecan convene small groups to spark broader transformation.- Designers are especially well-suited to address today’s challenges...because we’re in the business of asking and exploring questions. We are in thebusiness of speculation and wonder....focusing not on what’s wrong with today’s system, but on what could be. Block reinforces the inherenttransformative power of asking questions.- He also distinguishes between “transformative” and “non-transformative” questions, introducing 6 conversations that create a sense of belonging in acommunity and the questions associated with each. It’s a great starting point as you think about ways to engage your stakeholders and invite them toactively participate (vs. remain passive consumers of information).- When thinking about a movement, we’ve already established that a sense of belonging is essential. So a movement must also create the space forbelonging - that means being open to everyone’s participation...inviting and being hospitable to others. Diversity of perspectives is important...but alsocreating a real open environment for those diverse perspectives to find “voice” in action. Hospitality includes being open to others’ approaches,experiences and ways of knowing.- Finally, as designers, we have a unique opportunity to build community through the design of physical and social space. As you embark on “sparking amovement”...how are you going to create the space for meaningful dialogue and exchange? How can the physical space where people congregate add tothe conversation? How can it reinforce the desired goal of creating a sense of belonging and community? This is an area where this team could reallyexpand upon existing research through our work in Design.Additional Reading Resources: Christopher Alexander - Architect against master planning, democratizing architecture...building community.
  • 11. www.letgoandlead.comSaturday, June 8, 13The business world is headed in this direction.Before I came to Art Center, I served as the curator for an online community called “Let Go and Lead.” Again, this resource is targeted for anorganizational/business context...but its lessons can be applied much more broadly and to the public sphere.It’s an online collection of conversations - interviews with thought leaders from design, academia, business, politics - about the new model for leadershipin the 21st century. The interviews uncover many of the same points I’ve discussed with you today...about the importance of convening and letting go ofthe need to control the outcome. Both insights are imperatives to starting a movement.
  • 12. recap1. people are motivated by purpose and possibility2. the power to change behavior restswith the individual alone3. the best communications connectheads, hearts and hands4. find and engage first followers5. behind every movement is a committed community –create the space for belongingSaturday, June 8, 13Recap of my lessons
  • 13. ?? ??•Whom are we inviting topartake in the conversation?•What is the conversation wewant to have?•What is the structure that canhelp move action forward?catalyticquestions????Saturday, June 8, 13Questions that your team should consider at the onset...and spend real time thinking through together.Nuance is important here.It’s more than: Who? What? How? (Which is the traditional advertisers/communicators model)How you frame the conversation actually shapes the outcome.Thanks!
  • 14. thanks!mmarzec@inside.artcenter.edum.marzec@gagenmac.comSaturday, June 8, 13Thanks!Feel free to email me with questions... good luck and have fun!

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