If you truly want to change a company’s culture into one fueled by the knowledge that “it depends on me“, you need two important elements:
- A management that promotes change, and encourages the people who work for the company to suggest how to achieve it;
- Engaged people willing to put themselves on the line for the change they envision, offering solutions and new ideas to improve the company;
These are the fuel and the tinder that can start a positive fire, which burns down what is not essential, what doesn’t work properly, and from its ashes builds something beautiful and purposeful.
It is just the beginning, though: because good ideas are not worth much on their own. They need to have someone willing to fight for them, to see them through the good and the bad times.
Great ideas, most of all, need to be convincing: successful ideas are the ones that can be presented as solutions to common problems, with benefits for both the people and the company.
This was the kind of ideas that we wanted to scout for during our change management journey, SPII Evolution.
How do you create a pathway for people to not only gather ideas, but also to advocate and “sell” them successfully to the management? That was Evo’s challenge.
From good ideas to great ideas
The first part was easy. Well, easy if you see it in the perspective of a six-months long project, at least!
It was important to involve everyone in the process, from top to bottom. To create a strong sense of purpose in every participant, a desire to be heard, to give their input. This is why all the colleagues where divided in 4 groups: Water, Air, Fire and Earth.
Each of them was encouraged to build a strong identity as a group, for example finding a battle cry of their element or a motto, building competitiveness and desire to win.
But most of all, SPII Evo leveraged on one of the most important and universal forces that drives any human being: the desire to make a positive impact around us.
Through a set of activities, challenges and situations, we encouraged everyone to take a critical look at their surroundings with a proactive mind, and brainstorm ideas that could positively change the company, impacting both its people and its competitiveness.
From great ideas to convincing ideas
Once they gathered the best ideas, it was time to turn them into convincing ones.
And how do you do that?
Simple: you make sure people strongly believe in their importance, and then you give them the tools to properly present them.
Do you want a different chair? Do you believe it would benefit you because you would be more comfortable?
Great! But what’s in there for the company?
Does it improve your productivity? Does it reduce the cost of sick days? Does it increase morale?
A convincing idea is one that benefits each of the parts involved equally, one that is mutually beneficial.
One that you can present as a solution to everyone’s problems, that is achievable and convenient.
One you are willing to take responsibility for, because you truly believe it will be for the best of everyone involved.
These are the ideas that SPII wanted to encourage, find and carry out.
From convincing ideas to successful projects
The whole SPII Evo project combined elements of public speaking, negotiation, sales and much more. The goal was to stimulate people not only to find these ideas, but also to properly pitch them during the final event.
An official moment, when everyone felt thrilled and excited to present THEIR big idea in front of a jury and the rest of the company.
A staged event that needed to engage the audience, surprise, entertain and convince the management, and ultimately…result in real and long lasting change.
So when everyone on that great day showed up dressed with the colors of their team’s element, or shouted their battle-cry out loud, or even started playing “One vision” by Queen with an electric guitar…well, that’s when we knew it had worked really well!
Starting from real-life company issues, situations that sometimes weren’t even problematic until we started looking into them, some great ideas, convincing ideas, emerged.
Are you curious to know some of the changes that emerged from this incredible experience? A perfect example is the EVO room.
A dining area born from a need: the desire to get to know each other better within the company.
There are many ways to achieve such a goal: you could set up coffee vending machines, you could organize company events, and so on. But the best one, the one that best fit SPII’s values and its people, was to physically create a space for it.
A dining area where one could rest, meet others, engage with colleagues, eat a home-cooked meal and share it with a friend.
It was not the only right answer, but it surely was the one that best answered to a need that both the company and the people had.
And it was all completely born, raised and developed from the team who originally had it during SPII Evolution.
Because by the time the jury and the management agreed to it, it was already clear: they didn’t just suggest that idea, they had successfully sold it to the company and had become advocates of change.
See you next time,