CIPR Webinar – Change Communication

What it was:

CIPR Webinar on Change Communication presented by Alison Arnot.

Source: http://bit.ly/1El4UJS

What I learned:

Overall points from the webinar:

  • Change is a normal part of business process so a successful business must be able to do it sustainably and repeatedly.
  • People naturally wary of change. It is experienced differently by different people
  • The change curve is superficially similar to the grief curve!
  • Communicators job is to help people move through the change process
  • Those closely involved in the change process typically have a different view as they have more insight and empowerment in respect of the change.
  • Ultimate goal is to get people engaged and motivated to help deliver the future
  • Measurement / evaluation is key. You can’t influence what you don’t understand
  • Measure effectiveness, understanding, feelings, engagement and behaviour
  • Can use e.g. Bench-marking and demonstration of objective evidence of actual changes in behaviour

Detailed points:

Change communication strategy needs to include…

  • Why communicate? Who communicates with whom and about what?
  • What channels? When?
  • AND Consequences and measurement?

Analysing stakeholders needs to ask…

  • What is it like working with us? Who influences them? Who do they influence
  • What is our place in their aspirations? What is their view of our future? How can we help each other?
  • What is their motivation/agenda?

Stakeholder mapping – “Power vs. Interest”

  • High power low interest: Keep satisfied – A threat if they don’t understand
  • High power high interest: Engage – Can make or break your programme
  • Low power low interest: Monitor – Inform but don’t overload
  • Low power high interest: Inform – An advocate and ear to the ground

Communication content needs to address….

  1. STRATEGIC Information
  • Vision, values and direction
  • Rationale and benefits of the change
  • Comms outcome: Sense of purpose
  1. CORPORATE Information
  • How we are progressing?
  • Is the change helping?
  • What success is being had?
  • Comms outcome:  Sense of progress
  1. OPERATIONAL Information
  • What we need to start, stop and continue doing to make the change a success
  • Comms outcome: Sense of control

Messaging needs to address the three following needs…

  • Personal needs – a realistic (not evangelical) appraisal of the situation and what it means for me
  • Operational needs – where we are, where we need to be, what we need to do
  • Strategic needs – the big picture

What I will aim to do differently as a result:

I will conduct a stakeholder mapping exercise (identifying them all, then mapping power vs interest) for my digital transformation programme.

I’ll tailor our programme comms to ensure it covers the Strategic / Corporate / Operational content-types outlined in this briefing.

I’ll ensure that our messaging is better at addressing the three “needs” i.e. Personal / Operational / Strategic.

I will design a system of bench-marking for the programme – potentially a maturity model. For example %age of people that agree with each of the 10 statements in the digital vision.

Civil Service Alumni: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

What it was:

Talks by subject matter experts on AI hosted by the Civil Service Alumni, at the Royal College of Defence Studies, London on 18 December 2017

What I learned:

AI is permeating business:

  • No single agreed definition of “AI”
  • ‘Narrow’ AI does specific tasks, as opposed to ‘General’ AI which can solve new problems
  • AI is already in use in hundreds of Google products
  • AI is increasingly in the plans of the forward-looking global industrials
  • Huge landscape of firms involved in different sectors

Deep Neural Networks:

  • The workhorse of modern AI is the deep neural network, where each layer of neurons is connected to the prior layer
  • Supervised versus unsupervised learning
  • AI performance is better than humans in many narrow case, using supervised data and deep neural networks

Conditions for success:

  • Many AI applications can be characterised and understood as input X leading to output Y to solve problem Z.  For example, medical scan data leading to disease symptom recognition to solve diagnosis.
  • A precondition for the successful deployment of AI is a clear definition of the system or process, and an understanding of what AI can do
  • A social technical approach, including human impact, is typically desirable
  • AI typically requires widespread digitisation of the system
  • Data requirements: Common definitions, high quality, accessible, sufficient size
  • Domain expertise is key

Impact on Government?

  • A viable, shared business model for both public and private sector is needed
  • Key challenges for government in terms of  capability, ethics, regulation, getting on front foot in terms of impact, and in nurturing the wider AI economy
  • There is a significant discussion happening now around ethics, bias, regulation

What I will aim to do differently as a result:

  • Think about ethics and regulation of AI
  • Think about impact of AI on Government, including potential oportunities
  • Continue my learning theme on AI!

Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI)

What it was:

An exercise to measure ourselves against the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI) model (aka ‘red green blue triangle’) as part of the Future Leaders Scheme at Ashridge in November 2017.

What I learned:

I came out of the SDI exercise as red (“asserting / directing”) but close to red-green (judicious / competing) and the hub (flexible / cohering). Under stress or pressure I move to the hub.

I recognised all three in me, but perhaps the hub most of all

Your self-perception is based on your motivation, which form as intentions, which in turn express as behaviours.

Other people’s perceptions of you are the other way round – they are based on your behaviour, which expresses your intentions, driven by your inner motivation (which other people can’t see!)

What I will aim to do differently as a result:

  • Learn more about what I can do with SDI
  • Recognise when people are moving along their long vectors, it should be obvious they are stressed.
  • Note that for people with short vectors, it may not be obvious they are stressed, I may need to come to them to see if they need support
  • Always maintain healthy scepticism of SDI and similar personality models!

Future Leaders Scheme: Module one – introduction

What it was:

An introductory session to the residential Future Leaders Scheme (FLS) residential module at Ashridge.

The objectives of the module:

  • Build network and relationships
  • Develop personal leadership development Goals
  • Gain insight into your leadership strengths and styles
  • Insight into how your behaviours impact others
  • Aware of neurological and physiological responses to pressure
  • Develop your own leadership brand

What I learned:

Watch out for crises – they can be addictive!

It’s lonely at the top and you can trust the feedback you get less and less. Have a small number of confidantes.

Leading change and transformation is the leadership required in the high uncertainty, high disagreement quadrant.

Management is doing things right – Leadership is doing the right thing.

An organisation can be thought of in different ways, as a Newtonian machine, as a natural system, or as a psychic prison of what you can and can’t do.

Peter Robertson:  all business efforts undergo an s-curve of success followed by decline. Successful organisations jump as their s-curve dies.

What I will aim to do differently as a result:

  • Build relationships with a small number of senior confidantes.
  • Try to write down my personal brand.
  • Ask the team whether they are being stretched, being challenged, being developed.
  • Think about whether I occupy the same role in leadership at work as I did or do in my family.

Future Leaders Scheme: Leadership under pressure

What it was:

A talk and interactive session on leadership, held as part of the Future Leaders Scheme at Ashridge in November 2017.

We also completed a ‘leadership dilemmas’ exercise that looks at choices under pressure.

What I learned:

A simple model for how the brain works:

  • “Brain 1”, the autonomic nervous system; Sympathetic nervous system, works fast. Controls fear, fight, flight.
  • “Brain 2”, Parasympathetic nervous system; Controls rest and recuperation.
  • It’s essential to balance sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. Without balance, we lose cognitive function, become tired and stupid!
  • “Brain 3”, the conscious thinking mind. Brain 3 has not evolved fast enough for us to cope with modern world.
  • Under stress, brain 2 perceives threat, activates brain 1, brain 3 shuts down.

Sweet spot between challenge and threat is “correct thinking under pressure”- this is what you should always aim for.

My leadership values, according to my guesses (!?):

  • Future leaning
  • Integrity
  • Honest and open
  • Engagement
  • Innovation
  • “Excitement, adventure and really wild things”

My leadership values, as evidenced by the ‘leadership dilemmas’ exercise?

  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Openness

What will I aim to do differently as a result:

  • Consider an exercise to reconcile what team say about me and what I said about myself
  • Develop and write a “why should anyone be led by you statement”
  • Keep momentum on learning and development
  • Write this all up!