Change Doesn’t Have To Start At The Top, But It Helps

This is a very special Future in Five coming to you from Santiago, Chile, where I just finished speaking to 800 top HR leaders in Latin America. While visiting Santiago I was struck by the number of stray dogs everywhere. I learned that at one point the local government wanted to step in put these dogs to sleep. The people of Santiago were mortified, and there was an outcry against harming these animals. When a stray dog was found, the citizens of Santiago would step in to claim it as their own. The government, in turn, could not kill put a dog to sleep that belonged to someone. Today the stray dogs in Santiago are viewed as dogs that belong to the people. They are fed, looked after and during bad weather the locals give the dogs jackets to keep them warm and dry. I have not seen locals in any city thus far treat stray dogs with so much love and kindness. While taking pictures of a museum I saw a lady actually lay down on the floor next to a stray dog to give it a hug!

What is fascinating about this story, is that change didn’t start from the top, it started from ordinary people who wanted to see things done as they believed was right.

There a lot of parallels between this story and what we are seeing in organizations today. It is very helpful for change to be supported from the top, but change doesn’t have to start there. Change can start from the bottom, from grassroots efforts, and groups of people who want to see things done differently. We do not need to rely on change to be driven from management and executives. With all of the transparency and accessibility out there today, organizations can be told what employees care about, what is expected, and what matters the most. Change can then start from the bottom and eventually be supported by the top. The conversation regarding the Future of Work is happening all over the world. The time to start these conversations in your workplace is now!

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Jacob Morgan is a keynote speaker, author (most recently of The Future of Work), and futurist. To have Jacob speak at your event, to get access to his videos, podcasts and articles, or to subscribe to his newsletter you can visit TheFutureOrganization.

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