© 2009 HARDING & YORKE 21 Dave was meant to have emailed us the agenda on Friday, but said he couldn't get it to us because of a pressing deadline. How often have we heard that one from Editorial?! As usual, Pete dominates with his latest special- edition- brainchild. This one's called Pink Paper, targeted at gays and lesbians in the Newcastle area. After 20 minutes extolling the power of the Pink Pound in Geordieland, a treasure trove for the ad people, Jo has her weekly moan about problems with the distribution chain. No coffee as the machine is f*** ed again. Just as we try to get a sensible agenda together Steve phones again to say he doesn't look like he's going to make the meeting, so please could we email him the minutes. Fred barges in and says do we realise that the conference room's booked for a production team meeting at 10, so we'd better get our arses in gear. Jackie looks efficient and sharpens the pencils while the rest of us bugger off to Starbucks for a put- the- world- to- rights session. Stepping around the dustbins at the entrance we pick up Arthur and Sally who are just arriving together looking rushed and flushed. Another perfect start to the week! THE VERY FINE SWAN: WHY MONDAYS ARE OK Most of us get together around 4 p. m. on Friday. It's been a great idea to allow staff to organise proper coffee facilities in- house, and, as Pete is a fanatic about these things, we have the best Gaggia possible. Jackie's brought in fresh- baked donuts from the deli down the road and has made sure the conference room is clean and has fresh flowers ( which we now know last until the following Thursday). We briefly chew over last week's ups and downs and set the agenda for Monday TOGETHER, with the proper time allocations. Even Pete agrees, and we have time to think about the items over the weekend so we're already tuned in when we get together on Monday. When we arrive on Monday we see that Ron has cleaned the pavement. He gives us a warm welcome. The lifts are working, everyone's on time, including Steve. It was a good idea to say that we wouldn't have these meetings unless he was there right at the start. He had a word with the Group Director who now knows this time is sacrosanct. We decided a year ago to rotate the chairing of the meeting, so even Arthur's here on time ( with no lipstick on his collar). Everyone has their say, and Pete's got used to keeping his latest BHAG ( Big Hairy Audacious Goal) down to ten minutes. Jo tells us what she's actually been doing to fix distribution problems. They're not all resolved, but the worst glitches have been ironed out. We have a laugh together about the competition's failed freebee and go off to work, decent coffee in hand, knowing that we're all pulling in more or less the same direction. Put yourself in the shoes of this team. Having realised that they can all take some responsibility for the problems of Monday morning and now, having visualised how they can solve the most important issues, you can't imagine them going back to the ' old way'. In fact this team can solve virtually any issue they face by using the same storytelling technique. In 2004 I asked my entire senior team to write their own stories based on a ' day in their life' in three years time - with outstanding results. Only then did I truly begin to understand the level of commitment they all had, but their ideas and contributions have been the inspiration behind most of Harding & Yorke's greatest successes over the past four years. If you do this with your people I know you will find the process both invigorating and thought provoking. Imagine the stories they could tell - not to mention the happy endings! For more information on Storytelling contact: Jamie Lywood, Harding & Yorke - JL@ empathy. co. uk Nickie Hawton, The Empathy Academy - NH@ empathy. co. uk Nigel Barlow, Service Legends - nigelbarlow@ servicelegends. com Having realised that they can all take some responsibility for the problems of Monday morning and now, having visualised how they can solve the most important issues, you can't imagine them going back to the ' old way'.
YOUR EMPATHY PROPHET T - ISSUE 3/ FEBRUARY 2009 CAMPFIREOLOGY 1 YOUR PURPOSE - Imagine sitting around a campfire with your friends. You're singing merrily with a drink in your hand, laughing and joking. Your belly's full and the stars are shining brightly in the sky. Your tent is up and your sleeping bag is laid out in anticipation. Such a situation would not be achieved by accident - a great deal of effort, commitment and planning is needed to achieve the desired outcome. 2 CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION - you need to find a place to have your camp. It needs to be close to lots of wood and easily accessible - but not too close to others. 3 RING FENCE THE AREA - for the fire and clear the surroundings of debris. You need to understand who you are going to invite and how many - order food and drink ( and fireworks) - where are people to sit ( what direction is the wind), choose a night where you are guaranteed good weather, etc. 4 SELECT YOUR KINDLING - ( champions). Put them together for a single purpose. 5 IGNITE THE FIRE - You only need to do this once but choose you time carefully. 6 NURTURE IT - As soon as you see smoke you need to develop the fire ( imagine gently blowing to fan the flames). 7 FEED THE FIRE - With small logs at first. Gradually let the fire grow to the desired size. 8 LET IT MATURE - Once the fire is going well you need to let it find its own heat and settle with only the occasional log added. 9 FULFIL THE PURPOSE - Only now can you start to keep warm, cook, etc. 10 Put the fire out and go to bed wanting to do it again - tell the story of its success - ready to invite others. There are literally hundreds of ways to describe the process of cultural change in a business and many tools designed to support organisations find their way through. However, in my experience ( and those of my colleagues at Harding & Yorke) very few actually make it. One of the primary reasons for this failure is the ability to engage people in a way that is both understandable and gives them a sense of involvement and purpose. To put it another way, unsuccessful culture change programmes are done to people and the more successful ones are done by people. Recently I was describing the process of change to a client and quite by chance I chose a campfire metaphor. This worked so well that I thought I would share it with you. The metaphor has been fully analysed and we believe it to be a very robust way of describing the process of culture change in a simple and engaging way. I call the process ' Campfireology'. If you get any of these steps wrong someone ( either a colleague or - worse still - the Fire Brigade) will come along and put it out - soaking all the wood and surrounding area; making it extremely difficult to rekindle either your or your guests' enthusiasm for a second go. How many well- intentioned programmes have you seen put out? And, how enthused are your people for another initiative? Where are you on the Campfireology scale? Jamie Lywood, Chairman & CEO Harding & Yorke + 44 ( 0) 7850 20 20 30 22THE IDEA ' CAMPFIREOLOGY' 12345678910 Set the purpose Imagine the end Choose a pilot area Choose your location Reduce external influences Ringfence the area Pull together the champions Select your kindling Launch the programme Ignite the fire Be visibly supportive Nurture the fire Roll out the intitiative Feed the fire Ensure its sustainability Let it mature Acknowledge key success criteria Fulfil the purpose Continuous change Dream of next big adventure