Shekhar Pula: "Protecting ecosystems by stopping Ecocide"

Summary: Shekhar Pula presented the work of Stop Ecocide Foundation. Their mission is to bring about a legal duty of care to protect and preserve life supporting eco-systems on the planet, which continue to suffer damage and destruction of an unprecedented scale. They work with international lawyers to make environmental crimes punishable at the international level through the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other bodies. To reach that goal they work on raising public awareness, instigating political leadership and facilitating legal dialogue. In terms of the ICC, they seek to promote and amplify the voice of the States that are directly threatened by sea-level rise and other impacts, in order to hasten the adoption of laws that better protect the Earth's eco-systems.

Kit Lykketoft: Wonderful Copenhagen and Sustainability

Summary: Kit Lykketoft shared with us the sustainability aspects of tourism in Copenhagen. The city is using a benchmark tool to compare with other cities, it stimulates accommodation to go for the green key certification and it aims at including the Sustainable Development Goals in their policies.

The Change Leaders mark clark video still

Mark Clark: "Forget ‘Getting to Yes' Practices of Transformative Dialogue"

Summary: Mark Clark, CEO of global peace-building organisation Generations For Peace, shares the Premises, Principles and Practices of a new way of communicating, called transformative dialogue. It’s an approach that values autonomy and relatedness to support pro-social conflict interactions. Mark argues that there are times when we should forget “Getting to Yes”; and that whilst facilitating transformative dialogue is not easy, nor is it some magic bullet, it offers an important possibility for improving conflict interactions in our relationships, organisations and communities, and offers a valuable additional option for coaching and consulting practice.

Jacob Mayne: Is CSR Changing Business?

Summary: Jacob presented a unique new study that analysed the opinions of 130 senior and middle managers working for leading corporations in 25 countries, half in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) roles, half not. Jacob shared hopeful stories with us about companies that really make an effort to be more sustainable. Main conclusions
(self-reported by managers, compared to 5 years ago):
1. Business case finally recognised;
2. Sustainability becoming part of management;
3. Business outcomes seen as more important than PR and compliance;
4. Middle managers take the lead;
5. Barriers are short-term focus and top management ignorance.
There is more interest in the change aspects of CSR.

Rowan Gillies: Sounds and Silences of Leading Sustainable Change

Summary: Rowan Gillies made us aware of the ongoing loss of species, with the extinction of numerous birds and their beautiful sounds.

The Change Leaders Esmeralda Hemels video still

Esmeralda Hemels: "Developing Leadership Teams - Where the Magic Happens"

Summary: For Leadership Teams that want to thrive in today’s complex world, team members’ intention should be to ‘complete rather than compete’ each other. Esmeralda presents the 5 steps approach she developed based on her work with Leadership Teams over many years combined with contemporary leadership and change frameworks and field research. The 5 steps provide an approach to reach the depth needed for sustainable development of effective Leadership Teams. The paradoxical nature of some steps seems to be crucial elements for success.

The Change Leaders Dennis Vergne Video Still

Dennis Vergne: "Stop Trying to get Buy-in"

Summary: Get more work done by reducing consultation and increasing participation in decisions

The Change Leaders Oxford SPREAD Talks video still

Oxford SPREAD Talks 2014: Storytelling Change

Thea Hazel Stals – Developing healthy financial behaviours in young people
Many young people have difficulties managing their money. In this talk Thea presents four different types of young people. She explains how her agency uses co-creation to reach young people to develop workshops and online tools to improve youth financial behaviour.

Mark Clark – “Camp K. When A to Z doesn’t work. Systems thinking for adaptive change”
Sometimes a linear “A to Z” plan doesn’t work. Clark explains the non-linear, adaptive approach required in complex social systems, whether large organisations or the world’s largest refugee camps. He highlights using multiple frames, using dialogue to transcend polarized debate and compromise, and re-expanding situations of collapsed complexity to generate more options for action.

Lars Theusen – Co–creating solutions in our welfare societies

Lars talks about how we co–create solutions to wicked social problems in our welfare societies. His talk illustrates how it is possible through inquiry processes where we look for behaviors that already work – the “what” and the “how” – to solve and disseminate sustainable solutions to some of our most pressing problems.

Tom Miller – Transforming the city of Dallas, Texas with inclusion
A Dallas real estate developer is transforming a portion of The City of Dallas using a very human approach to change. Historic populations are being offered a place in a community in transition as opposed to being forced out of homes, business and neighborhoods. By focusing on community, character and choice, human needs are being met while economic goals are also accomplished.

Mike Staresinic – “Get Vision Back”
How to “get vision back” in a world that seems to have lost its compass?
Mike outlines twelve essential tips on forming an inclusive vision, especially for those change agents working on vision in the EU and US. Generated by an unprecedented look inside the flawed outcomes of seminal nonviolent protests.

Martin Thomas – “How much represents enough?”
How does ABC’s new CEO set about balancing environmental, social and economic impacts in ways that make meaning? The MultiCapital Scorecard engages stakeholders to answer “how much represents enough?”  Financials and non-financials set standards for sustainable performance in local and global contexts. Common principles and practices allow meaningful consolidation.

The Change Leaders Lisa Francis Jennings video still

Lisa Francis-Jennings: "The Subtle Perspectives of Resistance"

Summary: How many Organizational Change Projects fail because the project team does not connect with, or understand their audience? Lisa Francis-Jennings uses a composite story-telling technique to illustrate cultural disconnect and engagement failure. This disconnect, she posits, is the root of much Project failure. She encourages Change Agents to ask themselves three simple questions, that set perspective and that guide the OCM project team to focus on their audience and the ‘user experience’ of Change.

The Change Leaders Oxford SPREAD Talks 2013

Oxford SPREAD Talks 2013 : Exploding Organizations

“Spread the word” has different meanings depending on the person, group, organization, or cause. For the Change Leaders, SPREAD is a platform for addressing change.

The Change Leaders where founded ten years ago as a community of change practitioners with a three-fold purpose: support change work with clients, networking and continuous learning inside the community. We have held tight to those pillars as our community continues to grow.

But we are an adaptable bunch. Two years ago we decided to amend our learning from just “taking it in” to “spreading it out.” We invented SPREAD as our way to adapt.

SPREAD is a both a platform for our members to share their insights with change and a structured challenge to deliver their experience inside specific constraints. Each presenter is given twelve minutes to tell his or her story. We encourage them to use Art Kleiner’s (editor of Strategy & Business magazine and a tCL contributor) six-step procedure for writing or telling a story because we believe it to be a smart outline for anyone who wants their story to be heard or their writing to be read.

The last challenge for presenters is finding their edge. The edge is that place where they dare themselves more than is comfortable. The edge is usually a mix of personal risk and a public declaration of a point of view on change. Being and doing both of these acts leaves a person open to challenge from other people. It’s not a warm and comfortable place to stand for twelve minutes.

What we have learned from SPREAD in two years is that the Change Leaders as a community of practice, possesses deep understanding of the hard work of change on the ground in organizations. We are not academics though many great thinkers at Oxford and HEC have influenced us. We are a community of change agents working to help client organizations execute change projects. We believe we bring a unique blend of strong and continuous learning born from our common education background and our work experience. We also believe we are responsible to share our experience with the wider world. We use SPREAD to get those messages out.

We invite you to watch the SPREAD videos and learn from our presenters. Their stories are tales from the swamp of organizational change. These are practitioners who in the words of Donald Schon “…. work on the problems ill formed, vague and messy.”

But then these are also the problems of greatest concern to the world.

Rick Torseth, SPREAD Talks iniative
February 1st, 2014

Sharon Wood – Xi Jinping and A New China

Sharon Wood tells us the story about Xi Jinping, China’s new president, who has been audacious enough to raise the hopes of his people promising them a better life. He promises change, in his words “to kill the tigers and swat the flies”, and to bring fairness and transparency to a country riddled with corruption, […]

Mason de Chochor – Swiss Private Banking Falls Down

Switzerland has set the standard for reliability, predictability and stability for hundreds of years. It is a global banking center for these reasons. The banking sector has underwritten the brand we recognize as Swiss quality and security for years. Mason de Chochor, himself a Swiss banker, describes how all that changed in 2008 with the arrival of the global financial collapse. He suggests that Swiss private banking is facing extinction, a loss of trust, a fall from grace and a broken business model. How will it all work out?

Tom Miller – Symbols as Human Connectors

Symbols are inherently human and have been used throughout history to tell stories, create meaning and build communities of people. Tom Miller helps us understand how symbols enable organizations to harness the power that exist within its history and culture. Organizational symbols, well crafted and communicated, become powerful tools in the effort to build an attractive organizational culture. The wise use of symbols enables people to connect to the heart and purpose of the enterprise.

Martin Thomas – Beyond the Midas Touch

Martin Thomas uses a classic story, adds a different perspective and in so doing, provokes us to use “new eyes” to think about the future of our planet. Thinking deeply about our real aims in life has been an eternal theme. But we should all be careful about what we wish for. Today it is a necessity to see ourselves, our role in the world and the world itself from a longer perspective if our world is to survive. We need to question our collective aims and turn thought into action. “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

Cécile Demailly – The Mathematics of Change

Numbers, ROI and projections run today’s businesses. Change is something we would like to master, especially when it is expected to happen in an organization. It would be helpful to have equations and be able to predict the speed, velocity, and acceleration of a transformation and to extrapolate the challenges. But is it possible? And how can mathematics help with disruption and uncertainty, the driving forces behind modern change? Cecile Demailly challenges us to consider the potential that mathematics has for thinking and executing change at scale. 2+2 is not always 4.