101 tactics for revolutionaries

You say you want a revolution, well you know we all want to change the world.

John Lennon sang that, now I’m writing this.

101 tactics for low level, cubicle-dwelling systems thinkers. You’ve had the strategy, now here are your battle orders.

Onward to glory!

  1. if you’re in charge, do it yourself
  2. if you’re not in charge, do it yourself
  3. become known as “the guy who…” so when the time is right, everyone knows there’s a guy who…
  4. learn to be nice, so people like you
  5. realise there are no rules, you can do what you like
  6. know that you are as right as you can be for now given what you’ve learnt so far
  7. know that this is the same for everybody else
  8. stay on the inside of the wrong thing so you can speak with authority on why and how it is wrong
  9. know it’s not a race. That you can divide the world into those ahead of you and those behind, and to all those ahead of you, you’re the one behind.
  10. be an entrepreneur not a crusader
  11. realise that when it works, it might not look like how you imagined it would
  12. wear sunscreen
  13. try new things, make sure other people can see they’re new so they change their mind about what works
  14. try old things, make sure other people can see they’re old so they change their minds about what works
  15. don’t try and do it unless you’d do it for free. They couldn’t pay you enough.
  16. realise it might take years
  17. realise it might never happen
  18. realise it might already have happened and you haven’t noticed as it isn’t called what you call it
  19. realise it might already have happened in the organisation you should be working for
  20. realise it doesn’t matter as you can never know in advance the answer to the above 4 points
  21. read books and blogs, it’s all been done before so take advantage of others experience and learning
  22. write it up as you’re going along, so others can take advantage of your experience and learning
  23. read Deming. Apply.
  24. realise that some people, some times, in some places, just aren’t interested. Pass them over.
  25. learn about psychology. People are your raw materials, know how they work
  26. 20130407-163811.jpg

    26. be comfortable with being thought a deviant

  27. read the Tao Te Ching. Apply.
  28. learn to sell people the problem, not the solution. People buy because they have a problem.
  29. learn to listen. Not a platitude, an actual skill. Listen to people by not looking at them, being distracted by moving faces, look at the ground, or your hands, just listen to their voices like they are speaking on the radio, not the telly. I’ve just started this, and it’s amazing how much I must have been missing.
  30. don’t bother trying to change Corporate. They are Corporate for a reason. Corporate is never at the vanguard of real change.
  31. frontline is where it’s at, they get all the grief from customers, they are most grounded in how things really work and least convinced by the status quo.
  32. don’t call it anything. If it has a name, people, including you, will waste time arguing what it is and isn’t.
  33. call it something. Otherwise nobody can ever talk about it
  34. stories and data. In that order.
  35. read Made To Stick. Apply.
  36. know that nothing big or sustainable will happen unless the top management do it too.
  37. people don’t change their mind because they are persuaded to by others. They persuade themselves.
  38. you might have been persuaded by reading a book, most will not be, but you won’t know who will. Annoying isn’t it?
  39. If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t teach. Give them a tool, the use of which will lead to it” -Buckminster Fuller
  40. get managers to the work, listening to actual customers. No substitute!
  41. exploit dissatisfaction with current methods work and repeated cycles of behaviour
  42. encourage curiosity in new different ways of work (see point 34)
  43. retain good humour and a sense of irony. You want to be miserable for unknown numbers of years?
  44. assiduously collect data that shows anomalies in the official data. Store it all neatly, ready for when it might be best deployed, which could be years.
  45. nobody easily changes their fundamental beliefs. But you will repeatedly forget this and it will surprise you every time.
  46. successfully arguing the rational reasons for change relies on a shared mental model. This why it is useless as a tactic to change minds. Rational arguments are for tools and details.
  47. Experiment. That’s all you can ever do, so best make it explicit to yourself that’s what you are doing so you can get the most learning regardless of the result.
  48. conversations not presentations, chat in corridors or at people’s desks, not across acres of boardroom table.
  49. people don’t buy change. They buy solutions to their current problems. Focus on that.
  50. You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”-Winston Churchill
  51. 20130407-183013.jpg

    51. You will find people who sympathise in the oddest of unexpected places.

  52. get really good at communicating, in print, person and any other form you could develop a talent in. The vast majority of corporate communication is terrible. Stand out by being interesting and you’ve got a head start. (see point 35)
  53. be curious. There’s useful stuff everywhere. Lessons, metaphors, you’re knee-deep in them if you keep your eyes and mind open.
  54. learn patience.
  55. become an expert at the basics. 90% of everything is the basics. The basics can always be written on 1 side of an index card.
  56. make it funny. Nobody can hate funny.
  57. keep it serious. Don’t repel people by looking flippant.
  58. if you’re a junior back-office keyboard-rattling desk-jockey, your first milestone is to get someone credible as the public face. Yours shouldn’t be it.
  59. be authentic. The worst that can happen is people wont like it.
  60. it’s not about you.
  61. 20130407-193856.jpg

    61. don’t argue.

  62. create pull, it is the lubricant of change.
  63. don’t push, people push right back. You do.
  64. think on this:

    Daniel Kahneman: … there is actually enormous resistance, I think, within organizations to implementing programs that would improve the rationality of their decisions.

    Charlie Rose: Why?

    Daniel Kahneman: Well because it creates difficulty for the leadership. The moment you have a system that is a more structured system – then that system can be used to second guess the decisions of people. And people don’t like to be second guessed. So there is a lot of interest in ways to improve rationality but … when it comes to implementation enthusiasm wanes distinctly. … because you are naked and this is a real problem.

  65. be the guy that fails the most.
  66. don’t debate theory. Demonstrate reality.
  67. no really, debating theory unmoored from the actual reality of ‘what works’ can go nowhere and it’s really irritating as people come up with such crap at times. Don’t let it be you!
  68. [DATA EXPUNGED]
  69. 100% of change initiatives fail. This is evidenced fact. Only learning initiatives really succeed.
  70. “We’re hoping to succeed; we’re okay with failure. We just don’t want to land in between.” – David Chang. (see point 47)
  71. it depends. All rules and truths are to be read in this light.
  72. always remember people can only speak from within a mental model. Revise and remember the command and control models, as you WILL find them. Theory X above all. The ghost at the feast.
  73. photo (2)

    73. look carefully. Opportunities are often hidden

  74. develop huge self-assurance. Everyone else thinks you’re wrong, don’t join them.
  75. study theory of science. Apply the best bits..
  76. witty goes down better than earnest. keep it wafer light.
  77. talk and walk as if it’s already happened. “Dress for the job you want.” careerists say, revolutionaries say “Be the change you want to see in the world
  78. lob hand grenades of fabulousness into every meeting you are in. Eventually when you lob grenades of data and truth, people are primed to be receptive.
  79. learn to be fabulous in general. People are more receptive to style than vile, learn and adapt to your raw materials. Humans.
  80. it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets credit. Don’t care.
  81. be inclusive. don’t be exclusive.
  82. make everyone happy. No, this is not possible, forget it, nothing you can do about it so don’t worry yourself.
  83. it will be the best of times, it will be the worst of times. Better than being the dullest of times.
  84. everyone was young once, this is your youth right now, regardless of how old you are.
  85. mistakes are part of the fun. It’s called learning.
  86. there’s no end, no triumphal parade. You won’t know you’re done til afterwards.
  87. when you’re older, you won’t care. So don’t waste time right now worrying. Enjoy and learn.
  88. go to bed at night glad you might be able to make a difference whilst still having clean running water and free healthcare. It’s not a real gamble, whatever the pay-off
  89. laugh. It’s better than not.
  90. be good at maths. It’s better than not.
  91. realise you might be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In which case, it doesn’t matter if it never works. Not your fault, the only fault is not trying. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”
  92. imagine it all does work. Perhaps you might not recognise it? Would that be so bad? If you need to see it happen and have everyone know it was down to you, should you be doing it at all? There are other easier things that people will thank you for.
  93. act like it doesn’t matter if you succeed, as you probably won’t. The odds are against you.
  94. boil it all down into small quotable sentences. Say them out-loud, do they sound silly? Make them not silly, when you’re done, repeat them out-loud. Eventually everything sounds silly when they are repeated often enough, this is what other people hear, so don’t say small quotable sentences. Just think them, then speak like you normally do.
  95. learn improvisation. People are cheered off stage after inventing stuff they’ve never said before in public. Imagine how good it would be to be properly in the moment and listening to somebody, so you can speak to them truly? You’re half way there, chatting is never scripted, just learn a bit more than chatting. Chatting is seeing with one eye closed. Instead, listen then speak with both eyes open.
  96. “If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you”Don Marquis
  97. think not what your organisation can do for you, think not what you can do for your organisation, think purpose. These are 3 different things. It would be great if all 3 overlapped though.
  98. there are 4 more bullet points left, and I don’t think I should try and fill, just to make the numbers.
  99. this is my third last bullet point. It’s not about me saying and typing, as I know very little. I keep meaning to type “the idiot’s clause” to be appended beneath everything I type, a warning that I just have a blog, anyone can, but I don’t necessarily know anything at all. I could be completely wrong.
  100. second last. You could be wrong too.
  101. last. But you could be right.
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This entry was posted in change, learning, me doing it, systems thinking and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 101 tactics for revolutionaries

  1. ThinkPurpose says:

    Yes I do. Especially that first link. I love lists me.

    Like

  2. Pingback: 101 tactics for revolutionaries - Westrope Leadership Inc.

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