THE WAVES OF CHANGE ARE A CONSTANT.
LET’S GET GOOD AT IT.

What if instead of fearing change, organisations embraced it?

The Starlings programme invites organisations to:

  • EMBRACE CHANGE, making change a strategic choice and making learning how to perform organisational change effort faster, better and with fewer resources than competitors a priority as well as a source of competitive advantage.
  • Train their leaders to become effective CHANGE LEADERS
  • Train their workforce to become excellent at change and fabulous CHANGE AGENTS
  • Define and roll out new ways to measure and reward the capacity for change

Have you ever seen a murmuration?… Thousands of starlings flying in the sky, twisting and turning in unison, creating a wondrously evolving cloud that, as one, avoids predators and obstacles? Ever wondered how that is possible? How can birds who have brains the size of a peanut have far greater agility and complexity in their social groups than any business or human organisation on the planet?

Isn’t this extraordinary capacity to respond to change exactly what organisations require now more than ever?

THE CHANGE IMPERATIVE

The rise of the global economy with its unprecedented competition and ever increasing complexity is generating disruptive changes which are surprising whole industries. Although constant, the waves of changes are now affecting simultaneously all parts of organisations in totally different and often surprising ways. Because the changes affect all part of the organisation differently, the entire organisation must respond as a system. This means that traditional, linear, sequential and process based solutions are now obsolete. The speed, volume and complexity of changes in the world has overwhelmed the current processes and structures we have in place.

What are the next steps in our evolution? What’s the next level?

Change is like a wave… it is a dynamic natural force, it is inevitable and it rolls over everything.

Waves come in sets. There used to be years in between sets. In the 80’s and 90’s cultural and Organisational change programmes occurred roughly every 9 years. In the early part of this century it was every 3 years or so. Now it’s constant. The waves are coming continuously and they are getting bigger and bigger. There are two ways to responding to big waves 1. you can hang on, try to survive, splutter and choke as you are pulled to and fro and wait for the next one. It’s very tiring and in the end, you will probably drown. 2. You can learn how to surf; to absorb one of the greatest sources of energy on the planet and ride it thrillingly to new possibilities. In other words, organisations have now to make a conscious choice to suffer or surf: moving from being reactive to being proactive, from reacting to change to surfing on it.

What if instead of fearing change, organisations embraced it and chose to become extremely good at it? What if the key to expansion in today’s ever changing environment is for organisations to choose to get good at change as a whole? What if successfully surfing the waves of change boiled down to wholeheartedly embracing it? What if indeed change was the opportunity to discover greater, bolder, more expansive possibilities and something to be joyfully embraced?

What would such change-focused organisations look and function like? What models can we draw our inspiration from?

The answer from nature is: self-organising complex systems (i.e complex systems who have the ability to respond to stimulus in an extraordinary ordered complex collective way) From atoms to galaxies, self-organising complex systems are present all around us. Matter began to self-organise itself within a fraction of a second after the big bang that initiated our universe. Quarks coalesced into protons and neutrons. A murmuration of starlings is a self-organising complex system. So what can we learn from it? How does a system self-organise itself with such ease and such complexity at the same time?

Scientists believe murmurations are similar to other systems, such as crystals forming, avalanches, metals becoming magnetised and liquids turning to gases. These systems are “on the edge,” which means they’re ready to be completely transformed in an instant, that they embrace change totally. They have no points of view about it, they are just ready to do what it takes to respond in the best possible way.

In a murmuration, each bird is actually reacting to the birds nearest to it, the global movement being the result of a series of short-range reactions. Because the size of the flock doesn’t matter, a huge flock is able to respond to a predator attack as effectively and fluidly as a small flock. No matter the size, the system works. If one bird changes speed or direction, so do others.

The question remains, however, how does an individual bird spark a change if all are busy responding to the movement of everyone else? And more importantly, how do they do it so incredibly quickly?

It all boils down to 2 simple things…

ONE BIRD’S MOVEMENT ONLY AFFECTS ITS SEVEN CLOSEST NEIGHBOURS So one bird affects its seven closest neighbours, and each of those neighbours’ movements affect their closest seven neighbours and on through the flock. This is how a flock is able to look like a twisting, morphing cloud with some parts moving in one direction at one speed and other parts moving at another direction and at another speed. Why seven? It’s one of those numbers that just works in nature, and a systems-theoretic approach to studying starling flocks showed it. “Interacting with six or seven neighbours optimises the balance between group cohesiveness and individual effort,” write the researchers.

EACH BIRD RESPECTS 5 RULES The bird flock constantly changes shape as it responds to the actions of a predator. Yet, the behaviour of the flock is defined solely by the actions of individual birds who are each following a set of 5 inbred rules. Any individual can independently respond to a stimulus such as a predator. The entire group will then collectively respond in an order which is amazing to see.

Could we apply similar rules and approach to organisations? Could the agreement to apply a very simple set of rules at an individual level give rise to a capacity for such an evolved and efficient collective response?

Yes indeed.

YES Consultancy is specialised in Culture Change. For over 20 years they have helped people thrive in a diversity of leading organisations, from Fortune 500 to governmental agencies and non-for-profit organisations. Their unique tools and techniques have been successfully tried and tested by over 350,000 people across the world.

Throughout their experience, they have identified years after years the key mindsets and behaviours which allow anyone not only to be highly effective in times of change but also able to empower others to be as well.

Like the simple set of rules that enable thousands of starlings to respond to stimulus as one being with extreme agility, YES Consultancy has identify the simple set of mindsets and behaviours that enables any system regardless of its size to respond effectively to the waves of change.

As a result of their findings, they are now able to offer THE STARLINGS PROGRAM to organisations. The purpose of the Starlings programme is to enable your people to respond faster, better to change as one united group, yet holding the individuality and specificities of each part of the organisation. It blends learnings from the S.A.S, improvisational theatre, organisational development and natural wisdom into a cocktail of storytelling, interactivity and visionary management.

Starlings achieve their extraordinary prowess through the individual application of 5 simple principles. In the same way, through this programme, YES invites organisations to train their people in the 5 organising principles (The 5 C’s) which help human beings achieve the same level of dynamic agility as Starlings.

Einstein said that flexibility was a key trait of genius. What happens if we achieve it en masse?

The 5 organising principles are as follow:

Self Organising Principle 1: CREATIVITY

What if everyone in your organisation improves their ability to be creative innovators?

Perpetually evolving dynamic creativity leads to elasticity of thought, mental regeneration, paradigm shift thinking and a great sense of humour. What are the mindsets and behaviours anyone can learn that will naturally improve their ability to be creative innovators?

Self Organising System Principle 2: CHANGE

What if everyone in your organisation gets good at change?

Most people are afraid of it, but what are they really afraid of? What if we could ride the waves of change like a surfer instead of suffering them to crash over us? Starlings evolve with the winds and currents not in spite of them. Which mindsets and behaviours enable people to naturally experience adaptability and the integration of elemental forces? What inner leadership is required?

Self Organising System Principle 3: COMMUNICATION

What if everyone in your organisation improves their communication skills?

Communication is the conduit for change, the medium by which we induce flexibility and the means to get things done. In organisations, our ability to communicate is the beating of our wings. What makes us universally effective? What mindsets and behaviours can make compelling communication an immediate habit?

Self Organising System Principle 4: COLLABORATION

What if everyone in your organisation improves their ability to create dynamic connections?

Working as a great team is not the same as great team-working. A great team-worker can interface with any team, on any project regardless of it’s culture, hierarchy or history. Starlings don’t have to like their neighbours to operate effectively with them. The SAS don’t need to know the people they depend on to get the job done and most improvisers only get to meet their co-players when they get on stage. What principles and practices create that dynamic connection?

Self Organising System Principle 5: CARE

What if everyone in your organisation engaged at a deeper level?

It all starts and ends with care. All collective evolution comes down to personal responsibility, care for the self and care for the whole. Most people talk about care as if it’s a ‘nice to have’ in the workplace as opposed to the greatest conductor of personal effectiveness. What single unifying principle, mindsets and behaviours give birth to another level of engagement in people?

If you are interested in this accredited programme designed to give the key mindsets, behaviours and set of rules that will make anyone fit-for-change at all levels in organisations, YES offers a highly interactive taster session: it takes 90 minutes including questions and works easily for up to 300 people. The session is laced with stories, anecdotes and case-studies. People will walk away from the session with a new vision of management, leadership and how they relate to others, with tools and techniques they can apply immediately and playfully to engage with this vision daily.

The full programme (10 weeks, one 2h live session per week + online support) involves the complete training in the 5C’s, instilling a common language of effectiveness within your people and enabling them to collectively become as agile as Starlings.

GET IT – LIVE IT – GIVE IT

“Starlings” is a program which does two things :

1) It trains people to become great surfers of change at all levels in the organisation.

2) It helps them train others to be as good as them or better.

YES has embedded in the programme what they call the “GET IT – LIVE IT -GIVE IT” principle. What it means is that people get the principles, mindsets and behaviours in the sessions (GET IT) – they then have a set of practices which enables them to integrate the new information in their every day life (LIVE IT) – to complete the programme they must then pass it on to at least 3 people as we learn through teaching others (GIVE IT). In other words this principle transforms the Starlings programme into a beneficial virus that can spread very quickly throughout any organisations or system helping it become more agile and effective in times of change. What is even more amazing is that over half of the programme is based on games that teams just need to play to download effortlessly the required behaviours, mindsets and rules that make them fit for change. Having explored these behaviours, mindsets and rules for over 20 years, YES has managed to translate them in exciting games in which everything is built-in.

What if embracing change wholeheartedly was not only the way ahead but an easy and positive one? A revolution in evolution?

The Starlings programme invites organisations to:

  • EMBRACE CHANGE, making change a strategic choice and making learning how to perform organisational change effort faster, better and with fewer resources than competitors a priority as well as a source of competitive advantage.
  • Train their leaders to become effective CHANGE LEADERS
  • Train their workforce to become excellent at change and fabulous CHANGE AGENTS
  • Define and roll out new ways to measure and reward the capacity for change

If you are ready to go to the next level, contact Richard Jacobs at YES.

iam@yesindeed.com


Richard JACOBS is the C.E.O of YES, a leading Culture Change Consultancy specialised in mindset and behavioural change that designs and implements large scale transformation programs. Richard has been designing training, change programmes and media for 25 years. He has personally trained over 200,000 people, has won numerous awards and is a pioneer in his field integrating interactive theatre, improvisation, graphic novel storytelling and dynamic exercises into his programmes. He is a sought after speaker and the author of the groundbreaking books:  “What’s your Purpose?” , “The 7 Questions to find your Purpose” and the forthcoming “Rides of Passage”.

www.yesindeed.com
www.the7questions.online
@richiejacobs
iam@yesindeed.com