Changing the World – Critical Mass

I have been thinking about this a lot this week, mainly because my husband Greg is preaching on change this Sunday at church. Can people change? How do people change? What is the process of change? Why do people change? We all have our opinions on this and I believe we all have our own theory of change, meaning how we think change can happen. For me I think about it a lot in the context of how can the world change to become more gender balanced. The Women’s Funding Network has a model – The Five Indicators of Social Change – that I believe is truly brilliant. Here it is.

The Five Indicators of Social Change

A Shift in Definition – The issue is defined differently in the community or larger society.
A Shift in Behavior – People are behaving differently in the community or larger society.
A Shift in Engagement – People in the community or larger society are more engaged. Critical mass has been reached.
A Shift in Policy – An institutional, organizational, or legislative policy or practise has changed.
Maintaining Past Gains – Past Gains have been maintained generally in the face of opposition.

This is how you use this framework. Think about what you want to change and apply it to this framework. Take my passion – We need more women in critical mass in positions of leadership and influence in the financial services sector.

Definition – We need to make the case for why this is important. We need women because it leads to better decision making and a higher return on equity.
Behavior – Based on the above, boards of directors choose to add more women, CEOS starts walking the walk not just talking the talk. ( as examples)
Engagement – More and more companies do this, it becomes why aren’t you doing this?
Policy – Companies broadly adopt a critical mass principle and more.
Past Gains – Advocacy continues and the business case is validated over time.

Think about what you want to change and put it in this framework. There are specific strategies within each one of these shifts which need to be employed – but that would be a very long blog entry indeed.

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