Episode Focus: How Social Intrapreneurs influence positive Organizational Change

We have a fun topic and idea! We discuss organizational culture and how Social Intrapreneurs influence positive organizational change. More specifically we discuss innovation and the concept of “social movements” within organizations as a mechanism to lead positive change.

In this episode, we explore “Changing your company from the inside out: A guide for social intrapreneurs” with Christopher White. (This is the title of our guest’s book, along with his co-author Gerald F. Davis). Please join us for this episode as we discuss implementing tactics for positive organizational change. We will explore organizational culture, “good” leadership, social intrapreneurs, social networks, driving effective organizational change and more! 

Chris White

Chris White

Principal at Riverbank Consulting Group

More About Chris

Chris has been leading and consulting to purpose-driven organizations for more than 20 years. He is co-author of Changing Your Company From the Inside Out (HBR Press), and recipient of the Aspen Institute’s “Ideas Worth Teaching Award” for excellence in business education. His thought leadership has been widely featured, including by TED, HBR, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., and Chief Executive magazines. He is proud to be a Faculty Associate at the Center for Positive Organizations and adjunct faculty in Management & Organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business

Chris fundamentally believes that workplaces can and should be vehicles for people to learn, grow, create, connect, and contribute to meaningful outcomes. But over time, sometimes they can get blocked. With the right approach and commitment, they can be unblocked – leading to better results and experiences for everyone involved

Chris is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his wife Katy, kids Crosby and Kaylie, dog Ringo, and cat McCatney.

Episode Mentions 

Denison, D. R., Haaland, S., & Goelzer, P. (2003). Corporate culture and organizational effectiveness: Is there a similar pattern around the world. Advances in Global Leadership, 3(2), 205–225. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1535-1203(02)03011-3

Annamalai, C., & Ramayah, T. (2013). Does the organizational culture act as a moderator in Indian enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects? An empirical study. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 24(4), 555–587. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410381311327404

Kotter, J. P. (2017). What leaders really do. In Leadership perspectives (pp. 7-15). Routledge., https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781315250601-2/leaders-really-john-kotter

Gladwell, M. (2016). Tipping Point: Wie kleine Dinge Großes bewirken können. Goldmann Verlag.


Episode Highlights Timeline 

04:36 How would you define organizational culture?

05:01 On your website, “We believe an organization’s leaders often have the raw ability to create cultural change, but they may need support and coaching to make it work in practice.” How would you define good leadership?

06:44 What impact does good leadership have on organizational change? How do we know?

10:29 What is a social intrapreneur?

12:17 Let’s dive deeper, what is a social innovation and where does it come from? And how is the social innovation idea important to organizational change?

16:59 Your book shares that “Successful social movements tend to follow a playbook that can be seen as answers to four questions”; When is the right time for a change? (And how do you know?) Why, and how do you make the case for change? Who should be involved and what are the social networks? And How should they organize to press for change? So, can you tell our listeners more about the answers to these four questions?

36:25 Since organizations are built by people, and people have emotions, do emotions have a place in effective organizational change? And how do you address it?

38:04 From the website “Strategic Implementation”, “We believe the process of cultural change needs to be authentic and human”, How do you do this tactically

42:21 Lastly Chris, If you were going to give advice, or one golden nugget to an organization preparing for an ERP organizational change, what take-a-way would you like to leave with our listeners that could benefit them and their organization?

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