During our annual conference, Rainmaker 19, we were treated to 4 superb talks. Helen Bevan explained the topic of "enabling change and change leaders in the NHS”. The quote below was a key takeaway for me since it explains the need to distribute leadership and create a culture that builds relationships at every level of your business.
Interestingly this tied with our final speaker, Ben Ryan, and his approach to management of the Rio Olympics Rugby 7's winning Fijian team.
Ben explains in his book how he chose a captain (Osea Kolinisau) who deeply cared about his teammates, the process and the overall objective of the team. This decision proved to be a key foundation of the team's success. During Ben's talk he explained the analogy of not letting the 'plane loose altitude'. What this meant to the team was not allowing interruptions to pull the team down and an open, collective forum to readjust altitude if something had cause the plane to fall.
This connection deep into his team is a great example of engaging informal networks and being highly connected that Helen explained is what really makes you an effective change agent.
I was reminded by a client this week who leads a major consulting firm in Spain that in his home town in Spain they build human pyramids and whilst you do not see those at the bottom of the pyramid they are critical to the success.
Whether you are the CEO, Managing Partner, Graduate or any role these are important lessons and everyone has a responsible to create this culture. When it works it creates a place that you will love to be part of and be successful.
I would encourage everyone to read Ben's book (here) and Helen's blog below.
People often say to me “I can’t make change happen. I’m only a staff nurse/student/junior doctor/middle manager”. Yet research findings suggest that, in terms of being an effective change agent, the extent to which a person is at the centre in the informal network (new power) is significantly more important than their position in the formal system (old power). In addition, people who are highly connected have twice as much power to influence change as people with hierarchical power. Failure is more likely to be about lack of engagement with the informal networks that can make or break the change.