Monday, August 15, 2011

What Percentage Of Your Employees Need To Buy "The Vision" To Make A Difference?

Every company of any size has a "vision."

Most companies of all sizes have failed to inculcate that vision into its workforce.

Most blame it on the size of the job, meaning the belief that a large majority must adopt the vision and be engaged in it.

Not true.

The good news is not many employees must believe. Indeed, 10% who are true believers can will change a culture.

"Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point was a great examination of how little trends become massive phenomenons . . . the key number is 10%:

"Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. The scientists, who are members of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at Rensselaer, used computational and analytical methods to discover the tipping point where a minority belief becomes the majority opinion. The finding has implications for the study and influence of societal interactions ranging from the spread of innovations to the movement of political ideals.

"When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority," said SCNARC Director Boleslaw Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor at Rensselaer. "Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like flame."

"An important aspect of the finding is that the percent of committed opinion holders required to shift majority opinion does not change significantly regardless of the type of network in which the opinion holders are working. In other words, the percentage of committed opinion holders required to influence a society remains at approximately 10 percent, regardless of how or where that opinion starts and spreads in the society."

That's the good news.

The bad news is getting 10% of any group to buy into a paradigm-shifting belief has proven difficult, sometimes impossible, in most organizations.

Wny? Either an ineffective message or an ineffective messaging system.

Either is not fatal. The effort to inculcate a vision can be successful with the right message, one that is not only true, but believable, achievable, and specific, one with a communications system in place, one that utilizes multiple modes of communication and all levels of management and supervision, one that is integrated and for which results are tracked via survey and anecdotal follow-up.

If you would like more information, e-mail

Source: Science Daily
Source: Barking Up The Wrong Tree



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