News, views and resources on creating and adapting to change at work.
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NHS webinar: Ideas for Leading Change

We had the pleasure of talking with smart, passionate rebels at work at The National Health System during a recent 90-minute webinar. Click here to see the slides, which have been viewed by more than 1200 people in the past couple of weeks, or click here if you'd like to listen to the program recording.

(And do check out the Nov. 6 NHS Edge Talk, "Change Your Power, Power Your Change," with one of our favorite rebels at work, Celine Schillinger, head of innovation and quality at Sanofi Pasteur.)
Rebels in Groups: 5 takeaways
Rebels in Groups, published in 2011, provides a detailed summary of the recent social psychology research on group and team behavior. Unlike much of the previous research that emphasizes the tendency of individuals in groups to conform, the researchers in Rebels in Groups found that all sorts of teams and work groups perform better when they can handle differences and deviance.

The book is rich with insights and sometimes surprises about the conditions under which Rebels at Work can be more effective. Here are our five favorite takeaways, in reverse order:
5. Most work teams tend not to welcome dissent from fellow team members. New ideas are usually received better when they come from outsiders; someone from the same company, for example, but working in a different group. This speaks to the need for rebels at work to build broad alliances that span team boundaries.
4. Staying on that theme, sometimes a leader will bring in an outsider to his work team to shake it up. But the new member often tones down her ideas because of the pressure to gain the acceptance of the new team. A better strategy is to bring in outsiders with new ideas as temporary appointments for a pre-determined length of time, a year or two. 
3. Rebels need to work hard to understand the core norms of their group, their company or agency. Social change occurs when a group changes its position on what is normative.
2. Too often rebels arguing for new ideas struggle to persuade their colleagues. Trying to change other people's minds tends toward confrontation. The research suggests a more subtle approach. Instead of seeking victory for your ideas, work to make your ideas meaningful to your colleagues. That simple change in approach will lead the rebel to listen more carefully to the concern of others and perhaps even improve his ideas in ways that gain broader support.
And our favorite takeaway:
1. Rebels at Work can make organizations better even when their ideas are wrong and/or not accepted. Individuals exposed to other views will consider their own ideas more carefully and thus improve upon them.
-- Carmen

New book

I've been obsessed for years with learning what makes people such extraordinary firestarters, rebels at work, leaders, and entrepreneurs. 

After I finished writing  Rebels at Work with Carmen last year I realized I left out an important part of what it takes to be an effective rebel. People who make big things happen show up as themselves, call bullshit in thoughtful, kind ways, and have deep meaningful relationships because they're not afraid to reveal the stories that make them who they are.

So I'm calling my own bullshit and sharing my stories in the new book Naked Hearted in hopes that they help you find the courage to share yours, too. You can watch and praise Brené Brown's TED Talk on vulnerability, but to lay bare your vulnerabilities is Really. Hard. Scary. Work. That's why most people avoid it like an IRS audit.

I hope you can see the truth and wisdom of your life experiences from reading mine, and find the courage and tenacity to show up every day knowing you are enough. (
-- Lois
The Change Agent: Design Thinking Toolkit
The Innovation By Design project, with the support of a Rhode Island Innovation Fellowship, has released a superb, free change agent toolkit to help introduce design thinking into the classroom.  It's so well done that you may find it helpful for adults, too.
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