Manifesto for a human-led transformation

When I joined the corporate world, there was no Facebook, Twitter or Uber. Despite everything w When I joined the corporate world, there was no Facebook, Twitter or Uber. Despite everything we can hear, see or read about the future, it will not be governed by artificial intelligence, data or silicon. Our collective destiny is a conquest towards optimism. The future is a quest; it’s perhaps the most beautiful expression of our collective intelligence.

The future is a continuing opportunity to demonstrate our ability to adapt and learn.

It is the moment for each one of us to become an actor of the transformation “hactivator”, “transformer”, “corporate hacker”… The label does not matter; everyone must be able to contribute in their way.

When we listen to the future, there is a dominant stream of thoughts that emphasises technological acceleration. This speed is disturbing. It challenges our biological pace of adaptation. We are not software or mobile applications that undergo continuous updates.

Classically, the human being is perceived as an instrument of change, this manifesto considers the human being as an actor of transformation.

After more or less complex transformation projects, after having made mistakes, I notice that the successful transformations have three characteristics :

  1. they place the human being at the the core of their decisions;
  2. they are disseminated by teams ;
  3. they go from a transformation plan to a transformation dream.

1°) Transformation is an adventure of people

The feedback culture is one of the most sought-after transformation vehicles today. Many solutions are tested, deployed, financed, updated… Feedback training for managers, 360° evaluation deployment, feedback coaching, poster campaign on best practices, briefing kit for managers before opening annual interviews, proof of concept for mobile application designed to collect feedback continuously and at all levels… A lot of time and effort for unconvincing results.

The only time the transformation was successful was under the impetus of a grassroots initiative, the people curious to develop better feedback practices had the idea of creating a deck of cards. This free and easy to print solution was made available to all to provide written feedback to a colleague. Without any more formalism, this hacker initiative spreads, cards in several languages were exchanged from one team to another, from one entity to another, from one meeting to another and in a viral way, people began to give each other feedback. Whatever the time of year, the important thing was to support your colleagues to improve and become better. There is only one watchword: benevolence.

2°) Transformation is a team adventure

Project mode operation leads teams to continually redefine the bases of their collaboration, trust and working methods. The transformation of a company is experienced by the individuals who make it up, but also by the teams. They are the poor child in terms of the existing solutions. Once Team Building catalogues are exhausted, solutions to develop and strengthen teams are either costly or cumbersome in procedures (purchasing, suppliers, diagnostics, coaching). An internal team coach was frustrated that she could not respond to the number of coaching requests she received. Most of the time, the demands were similar: the creation of a new team, the arrival of a new manager, the communication, the definition of a roadmap… She had the idea of taking inspiration from the gift boxes she received for her birthday to create boxes that would be made available to teams so that they could have turnkey recipes during transformation events.

For teams who did not have the means to finance a coach, these boxes provided the minimum viable product to understand the questions to ask themselves in case of change, the actions to take, and especially they allow teams to create a space-time to apprehend their own transformation.

A sample of team activities to develop the learning culture, download the cards here to try it with your teams.

3°) From transformation plan to transformation dream

After having seen many transformation plans suffer from delays, be dissected – in search of R.O.I, be victims of lassitude… They exceed expectations when they embark everyone on a bold and optimistic version of the future. Holding workshops to invite employees to co-create and co-dream the dream of the future is more beneficial in terms of positive vibes, creativity and engagement. Of course, ideas will have to land on concrete actions and plans, but the most important thing in transformation is the state of mind.