How do we change everything when everything is changing?
How do we change everything
while everything is changing?
Dr Catherine Howe
1st November 2018
Why do I do what I do?
• I have worked in technology
for nearly 20 years (eek) –
ranging from start ups, higher
education, a FTSE100250
business and my current
adventure is in the third sector
as Director of Design, Delivery
and Change at Cancer
• My research focus is on using
the social web to do
democratic things exploring
the concept of digital civic
space – though my downfall is
• I am interested in digital
leadership and the skills we
need to work effectively in the
Find me online: @curiousc
Hypothesis for today
We are in the middle of an epoch shift
as we move away from an industrial
society and it is this rather than any
government policy or leadership trend
that is driving a need for new
If we understand this shift then we can
better adapt our behaviours.
Only by becoming networked leaders
will we be able to lead in a networked
Change is a constant – it
always has been
Why is the rate of change increasing?
– Awareness: we are told all the time
that things are changing rapidly. In
fact we tend to overestimate short
term effects and underestimate long
– Pace: New technologies and
networked distribution methods
mean we can roll out new initiatives
– Scale: The likelihood of disruptive
change is much greater than in the
Transformation is no longer enough;
we need agile and adaptive
Change in the organisation is often an
echo of change in the wider world.
Understanding that wider context can
help make sense of change.
When people talk about change
fatigue its often because they feel its
being done to them and not with
them. Giving people agency and a
voice in the process can turn this
But its important to remember that
part of the reason why we feel the rate
of change has increased is because,
across a number of measures, it has.
Setting the context – internal and
external - is a first step in helping
people to accept this new norm.
PART ONE: SETTING THE CONTEXT
Welcome to the network society
We are shifting from the industrial to the network society
Change is a constant
Networks as the dominant social structure facilitated by digital networked
Welcome to the network society
What about the networked
The future of work?
Work becomes a way in which we
reinvent ourselves as we
choose and change our
allegiance based on our
5M workers are
operating in the
What does it mean not to own stuff?
We value experiences over
Are the robots coming for you?
Artificial Intelligence Lawyer
parking tickets in London
and New York – for free
Amelia, a virtual agent
in 2016 was deployed to
work within Enfield
Borough Council to
improve local service
Old jobs become
irrelevant while new jobs start to
New skills are needed
35% of jobs will
be automated in
the next 20 years
Does anything count if we count everything?
We give our data away
and allow other people to turn us
into a commodity
‘Clicktivism’ connects us and
creates a platform for real world
to be listened
to be able to
The world of the networked
Their (our) lives are going to be very
different to the assumptions that were
inbuilt for baby boomers and their children
A networked individual requires a digital*mindset
and thinking in
Able to work
as well as
Able to take
What do you think?
Which society are you part
How quickly do you think this
shift will happen
What examples of this shift
are you living with?
What aspects of the digital
mindset do you best relate to?
Are we moving to a
PART TWO: DEVELOPING NEW
What skills do you need to survive and then thrive*?
*How close are you to retirement?
The ability to work with networked power
Hierarchies Are replaced with networks
Ability to work in a multidisciplinary way
• Multidisciplinary working
requires attention to
language, skills and
incentives – it doesn’t just
• Digital environments are
always on and are a
connected system – not a
set of controllable silos.
• System thinking requires
Data and research literacy
I have all the information I have enough information
Openness to innovation and
• The transition between old and
new ways of doing stuff takes
time and we don’t know how to
do it. And even when we have
the pace of change means that
it will keep shifting.
• Once you get over the idea
that anything is ever finished –
we have to innovate and
experiment to make progress.
• Shift from waterfall to agile
Relevance and personal brand
• Networks depend on reciprocity
• We value privacy less and
• Because we expect data to be available
we expect to be understand how
conclusions are reached
• You can’t just tell people what to do
• What happened to the
The confidence to
be open with your
do you bring to the
How do you influence
your own relevance?
Where we used to be able to present
ourselves differently to different
audiences our identities are now more
easily traced and connected.
Authenticity is no longer
advisable – its auditable.
Creating your own narrative – your
brand – will connect this and if you do
it well make it human
Social media: Individual
• Your own voice in the
• Relevance and influence
• Show your working out in public
• Find your voice
• Identity: Writing yourself into
Journalists are hired on the basis of social media
followers – how long will it be before that is true of
Social media: Personal
• My place in the conversation
• Action research diary and field
• Reflective practice
• Managing my own context
How digital are
What do you think?
Which of those skills do you
Which do you struggle with?
Do you have a personal
How do you cultivate the
story that people tell about
Do you have the skills
PART TWO: UNDERSTANDING
What does this mean you as a leader? For your relationships with
your teams and your citizens?
Money is not the only asset in the
Characteristics of trust1:
a) Ability describes perceptions of
leadership competence in doing their job
or fulfilling their role.
b) Benevolence describes a concern for
others beyond leaders’ own needs and
showing levels of care and compassion.
c) Integrity defines how trustworthiness
is linked to being seen as someone who
adheres to principles of fairness and
honesty while avoiding hypocrisy.
d) Predictability emphasises how
leadership behaviour has to be
consistent or regular over time.
1: Cultivating trustworthy leaders , University of Bath
Don’t be an
People need purpose
You need to
and not TO
Everyone has a different
relationship with change
How do you feel
Getting under the skin of the problem
is essential; there is no one size fits all
and different organisation and
individuals start from different places.
Understanding how the team feels
about change and listening to their
concerns is the other starting point
for designing an approach.
If you see networked leadership as
part of the solution then you need to
start as you mean to go on and listen.
Consultation once half the choices
have been made is meaningless,
engagement with a set of pre-defined
restrictions helps build trust.
How do you create a new
• Match the pace of people change and process change: By
understanding where people start you can tailor your
approach to a pace people can accept. With a clear
process and theory of change you can help them find a
place in that process.
• Staff engagement: There is a degree of formality needed
for any structural change process and this needs to be built
in to protect all parties from making the wrong choices.
• Transparent communications: The need for formal
engagement should not inhibit regular and transparent
communications about the process – being clear and
consistent about the process can allay fears and give
people the chance to participate. You need a narrative
that people can relate to and understand.
Creating a new norm:
• Visible leadership: Leaders in the organisation need to be
open to change and able to adapt themselves
• Focus on individual resilience: As we develop individuals
we need to focus on their resilience as well as their skills
• Embedding a learning culture: By keeping people’s skills
up to date and giving them chance to learn you help them
adapt to change
What is your story of change?
Once you have set the context and
understood where the team is starting
from there are a number of
approaches to consider. These are the
ones I have used and would use.
The approaches you need to get
started need to shift over time into
sustainable behaviours that create an
adaptable and flexible culture.
People need a reason to change – and
a reason to keep on adapting. Not
everyone can make this shift – making
sure you are recruiting and retaining
people with a growth mindset is an
important part of the long term
Once you have the core
skills which we discussed
in the last section then
you need to stretch your
• Changing minds not telling people
what to doInfluence
• Making sure all the voices are
• Creating an environment where
different people with different
skills can work together
• Being present and part of the
change that is happeningParticipation
What do you think?
Is your organisation ready for
you to be a networked
Do you think it would work?
How would this change the
services you are currently
Where will you start?
Is your organisation ready
Key learning points: - Epoch shift takes place over approach 50 years – we are in the middle of it - Much of what is happening internally and externally is as a result of these bigger changes By understanding this wider context we can better understand the differences between old and new ways of working and be more relevant to the ‘new’ world
NB Other epoch views / definitions are out there (for example dream age / information age etc etc – however this one is dominant and well established – see references
Xerox – smart phone: rise of the networked individual + networked communication Borders – amazon: shift to platforms and disintermediation RBS – Atom: shift from managing your money to helping you make better data drive decisions Broadsheets to Facebook: end of deference, rise of user led comms and content (NB useful to reflect on ‘fake news’ here) Oxfam to ebay: Rise of the sharing economy and collaborative consumption is as much about changes to how we consume and manage our assets as it is about sustainability
- The pattern of our working lives has shifted - Managing a multi-generational workforce or team means you need to understand their different perspectives - There are good and bad sides to the gig economy; freedom and autonomy for the highly skilled vis uncertainty and risk for the less skilled - As an individual your best ‘insurance’ is to stay relevant through a much more turbulent and diverse career than the old school ‘job for life’; what is your life long learning plan?
Reflect on what it takes to manage teams that may have a wider range of motivation - Think about some of the wider changes that are driven from a shift away from visible consumption as a major growth driver
Learning points Jobs have always developed and changed but the pace of this is increasing – hence earlier point about life long learning Automation is driving this increase in the pace of change Understanding what automation / AI can and cant do is important for you as an individual and for your clients
- Data is a central theme of the network society but we shouldn’t forget that a lot of that data devices from individuals - Making data central to your thinking is inherent to having a digital mindset - Think about this in the context of gamification – is it ethical?
- While fake news is the visible sign of the underlying theme here is a change in the way we make decisions; people don’t want to be passively ‘done to’ anymore and this is wrapped up with the generational shifts we discussed in the first theme - This is about how we make decisions and can be seen in changes inside organisations and in changes in the relationships with our customers and clients (bcorp) as well as in the political sphere
- This model is a foundation for the whole session so important that each element is understood - There are separate materials describing the model in more detail