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A session by Ross Mayfield at the Office 2.0 Unconference, about how to be a catalyst for change in a large organization

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  1. 1. <ul><li>How to be an agent of change in a large organization </li></ul>
  2. 2. Why Catalyze? <ul><li>Larger competitive and technological forces threaten organizations that are institutionalized against change </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 and social networks enable Catalysts to work against the Innovator’s Dilemma </li></ul><ul><li>Catalysts have a responsibility and role </li></ul><ul><li>This isn’t about adopting technology, but using it with increased energy towards a goal </li></ul>
  3. 3. Case Study: ODDsters <ul><li>Corporate activists within AT&T when the internet required change </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ideally, the Opportunity Discovery Department (ODD) didn’t have to exist </li></ul><ul><li>8 eclectics, a diverse group for change, shielded within Research, but worked across the organization </li></ul><ul><li>ODDster David Isenberg’s The Rise of the Stupid Network was leaked internal memo, brought change across the industry </li></ul>
  4. 4. Case Study: ODDsters <ul><li>Publishing, Events and Networks </li></ul><ul><li>GNOST: Grassroots Network of Strategic Thinkers within the organization </li></ul><ul><li>SIP: Strategic Inflection Points, targeted points of influence within the organization, human (empty suits) and paper-based </li></ul><ul><li>Tapped GBN as a professional network outside the organization </li></ul>
  5. 5. Lexicon of ODDisms <ul><li>canary n. a person who detects signs of dangerous strategy/behavior; a person who tests a situation for the safe entry of followers </li></ul><ul><li>confusooly n. a version of “management by regulated incompetence”; the modus operandi of telco incumbents </li></ul><ul><li>data bomb n. a statistic with disturbing implications </li></ul><ul><li>dead squirrel n. a strategy that has encountered the arrival of a freight train </li></ul><ul><li>empty suits n. pl. up-and-coming executives who need ideas to advance their careers </li></ul><ul><li>freight trains n. a trend that is going to flatten a company unless the company changes its strategy </li></ul><ul><li>GNOST abbrev. Grass-Roots Network of Strategic Thinkers; an informal community of support </li></ul><ul><li>humbitious adj. a state that combines the humility to recognize that one does not know everything with the ambition to be bold in fulfillment of one’s mission </li></ul><ul><li>ignorance map n. a map that charts the critical information of which a company is ignorant </li></ul><ul><li>jester n. a person who employs humor and self-ridicule to force executives to acknowledge difficult strategic issues </li></ul><ul><li>learning journey n. a journey of discovery to an unfamiliar area or context </li></ul><ul><li>magic feathers n pl. implicitly and intentionally indefinable concepts that companies believe are necessary for success e.g. middleware, platform [From Disney’s “Dumbo and the Magic Feather” in which Dumbo believes that he needs a magic feather to fly, whereas he already has all that he needs to fly—namely, his big ears]. Offering a “magic feather” as a solution stops all useful strategic discussion. </li></ul><ul><li>naked emperors n. pl. misguided executives with delicate egos whom no one is willing to confront </li></ul><ul><li>ODD abbrev. Opportunity Discovery Department; Opportunity Deficit Disorder; Organized Despair and </li></ul><ul><li>Disillusionment </li></ul><ul><li>ODDventure n. see learning journey </li></ul><ul><li>reboot camp n. a learning journey that is designed to “chock and fix” unsuspecting executives </li></ul><ul><li>stink tank n. a place such as ODD where dangerous, combustible ideas are generated </li></ul><ul><li>strategic infection point n. a suitable point in an organizational process at which one can introduce a new strategic perspective </li></ul><ul><li>strategic rubber chicken n. an indigestible attempt at strategy; usually served to lower level employees by upper management </li></ul><ul><li>stratlets n. pl. hallway or elevator strategies; small pieces of strategy with the potential to grow into something larger </li></ul><ul><li>substitute brain n. an external consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Trojan hearse n. a vehicle used to engineer the departure of a naked emperor </li></ul><ul><li>Unamailer n. a disgruntled knowledge worker who breaks the corporate code of silence concerning mismanagement and incompetence </li></ul>
  6. 6. What ODDsters Could Have Done <ul><li>• Avoided us vs. them—mentality that may have created some confrontation. </li></ul><ul><li>• Tuned down their slight intellectual snobbism—even if corporate strategists don’t have sufficient technological background, theymight have other qualities. </li></ul><ul><li>• Sought to create comfort zones where those illiterate in technology and telecommunications competition could have learnt without embarrassment (albeit some of this did happen through scenario planning for instance). </li></ul><ul><li>• Should not have aspired to take over the strategy function of AT&T (in a clandestine manner) but sought to add value nevertheless. </li></ul><ul><li>• Sought to address higher audiences in top management in a more systematic manner. </li></ul><ul><li>• Have developed a plan B and the Revision A for ODD ready to go in 1998 when ODD, as it was initially conceived, no longer was viable. </li></ul><ul><li>• Shared their transformational experience with more people—the fervor ODD created, must have scared those non-initiated within AT&T. </li></ul><ul><li>• Created a wider-based coalition to support their ideas (again, a lot of this did happen through the seminars, newsletters, networks). </li></ul>
  7. 7. What’s New <ul><li>MANOPs </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to Meet, camp and remote </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to Aggregate, inside and out </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to Network, inside and out </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to Organize, self and others </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to Publish, inside and out </li></ul>
  8. 8. What’s Old <ul><li>Heirarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Process </li></ul><ul><li>Budgeting </li></ul><ul><li>Mindsets </li></ul>
  9. 9. MANOPs: Meet <ul><li>Barcamp-style meetings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agenda surfacing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Remote </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conference calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look how open source developers collaborate with IM, IRC (chat) and wiki; without actually meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Apply to your organization and participate in your professional network </li></ul>
  10. 10. MANOPs: Aggregate <ul><li>Leverage RSS Newsreaders to aggregate internal and external content on your issues </li></ul><ul><li>Share your subscription lists. Shared sources change minds over time. </li></ul><ul><li>Install Outlook plugins or bookmarks and don’t say its RSS </li></ul>
  11. 11. MANOPs: Network <ul><li>Who are your peers? </li></ul><ul><li>Your professional network is your best source of ideas for change </li></ul><ul><li>Your internal network is your best source of means for change </li></ul><ul><li>Consider catalytics like GNOST </li></ul>
  12. 12. MANOPs: Organize <ul><li>Insert wiki here </li></ul><ul><li>No such thing as collaboration without a goal </li></ul><ul><li>Which do you need, sanctioned budget or time? </li></ul><ul><li>Today, what can you accomplish without resources? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The cost of group forming is falling to zero </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intrapreneurship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT: open source, SaaS and free tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The value of prototypes </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. MANOPs: Publish <ul><li>Means, not an end </li></ul><ul><li>Getting your idea across is more important than credit </li></ul><ul><li>First develop a resource, not a manifesto </li></ul><ul><li>Publish with others </li></ul><ul><li>Tim Bray: public posts change more than private? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Catalytics Conclusion <ul><li>Don’t be a revolutionary, help your organization be evolutionary </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s discuss your issues with What’s Old and how to apply Catalytic MANOPs </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Watch for SuitCamp </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>