Wanted: suggestions for new Bucket list pioneers
We are always curious to discover potential pioneers for our Bucket list. Do you have suggestions for us? If so, please share them with us, and tell us why you think this pioneer should be added to the list.
I think Helen Bevan (@HelenBevan on Twitter) is an inspirational person working in the NHS in England. Gary Hamel talks about NHS Change Day that was started by her and Jackie Lynton (sadly deceased) here:
Let me tell you a story about two individuals, Helen Bevan and Jackie Lynton, who were in the middle of one of the most bureaucratic, biggest organizations in the world and had a profound impact on that organization. The story starts in early 2013 and the organization is Britain's National Health Service, with more than a million employees. As you might imagine, it's bureaucratic. Healthcare is a very complex industry and if you are in Britain or you follow the British newspapers, just about every week you'll find a story of something that's gone wrong in the NHS. Well, Helen and Jackie had many years of experience at the NHS, but they weren't senior line executives. They were mid-level change people who'd run different sorts of traditional change projects at the NHS. They found themselves talking one afternoon to a group of young trainee doctors who had just joined the National Health Service and who were already frustrated about how difficult it was to get things done and how often doing the right thing for patients came second, third or fourth to doing the right thing for bureaucracy so they thought maybe there's another way to drive change here at the NHS. Now, the unit in which they worked, which was an internal consulting unit, they thought that that unit was going to be disbanded within a matter of months, so starting in January 2013, they launched their little project. They gave it a very ambitions name, the Change Day, but they said, "We only have 90 days to do something significant," and the project worked like this. Using a little social media platform and then everything they could do with viral marketing, they invited colleagues in to fill out a simple pledge form where you could pledge something you were going to do within your job, within your scope of permissions, to improve patient care. 2013 was the 65th anniversary of the National Health Service and they were hoping that by March, when they thought the project would have to end, they were hoping to get 65 thousand pledges. By the end of January, they had a few hundred. By Mid-February, about 5,000 and by the time they ended the Day of Change in Mid-March, they had 189 thousand pledges. A typical pledge might come from a group of paediatricians who said, "We promise to taste every medicine before prescribing it to kids and a helpless parent who's gonna have to try to get it down their throats," or it might be a group of nurses on a ward who said, "Every week, with their permission, we'll video our patients with our camera phones and then we'll come back and talk about what we could do to make their experience in the hospital more pleasant for them." So imagine that times 189 thousand pledges. That became the single biggest change program in the history of the NHS and Helen and Jackie launched it without any permissions, without going up, without putting together any big plans. They just started something. That's how you think if you're an activist, not an anarchist, not a terrorist, but if you're an activist, when you say, "I'm not helpless. I'm not going to ask somebody else to do this. This organization is my organization. I care too much about it to be helpless and I believe we can do something starting where I am right now." That's the secret to making a difference. That's the secret to hacking management.
For many organisations, it’s been more than six months now working remotely. The team Zoom quizzes are a distant memory and recently it’s been difficult to keep the virtual coffee chats going, if they ever started in the first place. It’s just not the same as bumping into a colleague and having a spontaneous conversation right?
We are working hard to develop our very own online Corporate Rebels Academy, as mentioned in a previous post. The focus of this post will be on understanding the designs of progressive organizations—especially the large ones that organize without middle-managers. Think Buurtzorg and Haier.
I wrote recently about Mies Van Der Rohe and his design principle “less is more”. I asked why, in architecture, ‘less is more’ and ‘state of the art’, but in organizations it seems to be the opposite. In this article I want to share how we try to keep things simple at Viisi.