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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Getting Change Right: Element #5

Generating dramatic surges in progress. Kahan talks about “touchstone” events for organizations that serve much like organizational rites of passage. Such events shift or move a community/organization from one place to the next level. Done well, he contends that such touchstone events are like jet engines: the draw in people like jets draw in air; anticipation builds as the event gets closer like a jets compressor; the event takes place like a jet igniting; and good ideas catch fire and spread through the event to the change program like a jet engine accelerates and pushes the aircraft forward. Again, Kahan has a list of steps for creating a touchstone (or kickoff) event. The man loves lists….there are many in this book. In this instance here area a but a few checkpoints to launch such an event: know the audience, have a compelling attention getter, tell your story, put your audience into the story, and close with impact (see p136 for the detailed list and explanation). Kahan stressed the need to cluster a lot of events and communication around the touchstone event so that changes seems to be everywhere. Also, catching people when they leave the event—with great follow up is critical to keep the momentum going, otherwise you dissipate all the energy you created. So follow-up surveys, webinars, etc. stoke the fires you create in the touchstone event.

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