Creating Brains on Fire Movements

Think about the last time someone tried to change something significant inside your organization. How did the employees access that message? Odds are pretty good that it involved email, PowerPoint, or possibly a corporate bulletin. If your company is more progressive maybe a blog or Yammer post was involved too.

When I read this review of the new Brains on Fire book. (Wait – is this not the best title ever? The company is even named that. Too cool for school, I tell you. Highly recommend their blog.) Back to the review and this excerpt in particular:

“The authors know that what’s truly powerful in business (indeed, in society as a whole) is the creation of movements. And they know that ‘90 percent of word-of-mouth interactions happen off-line. Yes, you read that right. Nine. Zero. Percent. The good folks at the Keller Fay Group have done the homework, and it’s no joke.’ They continue:

Look, social media is great. The Internet allows ideas to travel at the speed of light, and it connects us to both information and other like-minded people. But as great as all the Twitters and Facebooks and MySpaces and blogs and message boards and digital doodads are, they will never, ever replace the power of shaking someone’s hand, looking them in the eye, getting kindred spirits in the room (or better yet, at your brand’s Mecca), and laughing together, getting a drink, sitting at the dinner table—whatever.”

Go back to your answers to the questions at the start of this post. Did any involve shaking hands, looking in the eyes, getting kindred spirits in the room together? Hmmm. What is change, if not to create a movement? And why are we using online, non-peopley ways to start movements inside organizations when we know that 90% of word-of-mouth interactions happen off-line?

PS I highly recommend Switch by Chip and Dan Heath for some fresh ideas on change.