About This Episode:
In this episode of “#WalkWithMe” I explain the five key phases on how we can create a true, lasting and impactful shift through the power of a movement.
There’s a lot of ‘shift’ in the air right now—change, progress, growth, reinvention… When it comes to making meaningful and lasting shifts, I believe there’s two approaches: 1) Shift can come from the top-down in terms of leaders dictating a specific direction, or 2) shift can begin from the bottom-up where the power of the people, of community, of the collective voice can rise up together and create change.
I think the greatest way to create shift from the bottom-up is leveraging the power of a movement. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of a movement, which I would define as a group of people united around a worthy cause – a noble cause, in fact – that collectively moves people forward in the same direction towards change. The past 20 years of my career have been focused on community marketing, and I love being part of communities organizing around a shared vision and mission.
I have found there are five phases that must be completed to create a movement. I call this framework the “Shift Strategy.”
Phase 1: Awaken
Everything starts with awareness. You cannot shift what you are not aware of. This is where you need to shine a bright light on what was dark before. There are many ways to create awareness—using your voice, attending a rally, sharing social media posts, or just having a conversation with your local community or neighbors.
Phase 2: Learn
After people start to wake up and see things from a different vantage point, they need to listen and learn. We do not individually have all the answers, but collectively we do. There’s power in diversity, a variety of experiences and a collection of perspectives. The power is in the community. You need to step back and listen to what people are seeing, thinking and feeling.
Phase 3: Connect
This is where we start to see the importance and value of leadership. One thing that is common among leaders: They’re able to see more than what others see, and see before others see. And, they can put it into a vision and a strategy that then others can see. It takes people stepping up, taking the wheel and starting to connect the pieces of the puzzle to create the bigger picture in terms of vision and strategy. Leaders don’t have to have permission to lead; they just step up and lead.
Phase 4: Mobilize
When you have a group of individuals who all believe in the vision, they then need an action plan to move cohesively in a unified direction. The power of mobilizing can mean a group of people who take small simple steps in the same direction at the same time—that’s the power of a movement and the difference between an army marching and a group of people scattering.
Phase 5: Shift
If all the first four phases happen (people waken, shine the light, listen, while leaders step up and connect people behind a vision and strategy to mobilize them together in the same direction), shift happens. We shift our experiences. We shift our references. Our thoughts begin to shift our beliefs. It can take a long time, but with enough passion and enough consistency, the beliefs shift, which eventually shifts the language. This in turn shifts the action and ultimately the outcomes.
This is how we can create true, lasting and impactful shifts today to create a better tomorrow.
What is 1 shift you want to see?