Influential Unity and Positive Disruption

The Change Leader Weekly

To Ponder: Breaking Superstition

Happy Friday the 13th everybody. Are you the superstitious type?

In 1880 a group of New Yorkers were tired of the stigma surrounding the number 13 - so they took matters into their own hands and founded the ‘Thirteen Club’. The club would have a 13 course meal, on the 13th day of the month, in room 13 of a pub that one of the founders owned. To further demonstrate their apathy for superstition, members of the ‘Thirteen Club’ were required to pass under a ladder before sitting down at the table.

Interestingly, superstition is just another example of a social norm. Breaking a norm creates an ‘attention response’. You’ve likely experienced it. Perhaps you were travelling in a lift and it jolted unexpectedly. Or you were driving a car and a kangaroo jumped out at you. In fact, I had one this week - I was at a client's site and the automated rotating doors out front suddenly stopped while I was midway through.

Breaking social norms creates attention in places and for things that wouldn’t otherwise warrant it. Given that a common issue that Change Leader’s face isn’t being declined, but rather, being ignored, your question to ponder this week is:

What established cultural norms can you break to create positive attention disruption?

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To Action: Creating Unity

Most people are aware of the work of Robert Cialdini, and his bestseller ‘Influence’. Most people are also aware of the 6 principles of influence that are outlined in that book: Reciprocity, Commitment, Social proof, Authority, Liking and Scarcity.

But it’s Cialdini’s 7th principle that’s interesting. It’s added in one of his later books: Pre-Suasion. The 7th principle of influence, Cialdini claims, is Unity. More specifically, unity represents being ‘one of us’.

To give you a sense of the power that this kind of influence wields, in 1941 the Nazi-allied Japanese were questioning a Jewish scholar on whether or not to adopt the Nazi’s policies towards the Jewish in Japan. This scholar’s response was simple, yet immensely powerful:

“We are Asians, just like you”.

The Japanese General’s response made the result of the influence clear: “No harm will come to you or your people in Japan”.

Unity is powerful. So here’s your call to action for the week:

How can you leverage the unity that already exists in your change cohorts?

There are multiple points of existing connection within your organisations. That is a well of influential unity just waiting to be tapped.

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To Reflect: Bold Simplicity

Leading with simplicity front of mind requires incredible boldness because it’s so exposed.

Complexity creates an opportunity to hide in the detail.

You get no such luxury with simplicity. Instead you get something better: A genuine discussion.

So this week remember:

Simplicity isn’t Simpleness. It’s boldness.

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HUGE Update: QPI is now the Valuable Change Co.

To better reflect our focus on Fostering Change Leaders and Driving Valuable Change, The Quality Project Initiative is now The Valuable Change Co.!

When it comes to change – the industry has over-complicated it. From the obtuse jargon and untold reams of paperwork. It’s just become too hard, too confusing and too academic.

The thing is – You don’t have time for that. No one does.

So, the Valuable Change Co. is founded with one central mission in mind: to Help Change Leaders Drive Real Value.

However, we at VC Co. also have a secondary mission: Fight unnecessary complexity. And so that’s what we do. With over $10 Billion in change experience, we work with organisations across the country to help them build better change leaders and drive more valuable change.

Whether you’re leading a massive, multi-million dollar, cross-organisational program, or you need to create a fundamental shift in your own teams – We can help.



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Have a fabulous weekend. See you next week.