Posts Tagged ‘Barkis’

Science.1How does change look? How does change happen?

I suppose the answer to this is that it looks and happens in many ways.

One of the ways to make it happen is at the grass roots level. You start small and it grows from seeds and reactions and fertile environments and energy being pumped into the system by you and then at some point the system begins to generate its own energy.

This week’s message takes the form of a visual. It ended up looking like chemical reaction at the molecular level, like fusion. It’s a series of progressions.

I’ve attached a legend for a bit of clarity:

Change Agent: Obviously, that’s you.

Manager: A manager at some level

Barkis: This is the person who is willing. Could be manager, could be supervisor, could be team member. Barkis is the person most receptive to your ideas

Team Member: Anyone under said manager in the org chart

Arrows: The influence and ideas that you and others are injecting into the system

So no more words. Here are some pictures.

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barkis1

 

Indeed Barkis is willing. And he has his reasons. In Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield” Mr. Barkis is a character who is interested in marrying Peggotty based on her cooking chops. He sends a simple message via David to Peggotty: Barkis is willing.

Now perhaps we would prefer maybe that Barkis had a different motive for wanting to marry Peggotty, such as her beauty or her charm or gentleness. But Barkis is willing to marry for his own reason. And in the context of the book we have to accept that.

In the change world sometimes you will have the fortune to run into Barkis. Barkis is often not who you were expecting. Whoever it is, whatever there motive for wanting involvement in your vision, ignore Barkis at your own peril. Barkis is a seed that has germinated. Give Barkis the right amount of love.

We tend to ignore Barkises  when they’re not in the appropriate position of power. We tend to ignore Barkises when they’re not totally aligned with us. We tend to ignore Barkises when they’re on the periphery of the project. It can be easy to dismiss Barkis.

But I repeat, do not ignore Barkis. Barkis is displaying interest and desire, sometimes even passion. Desire is the mother lode. Grab onto that.

This falls under the greater category of Take What the Beast Will give. We work so hard to educate people and inspire them to have vision and create motivation and focus towards that vision. I know it’s hard because we fail so often to generate inspiration. So when hear Barkis is willing, stop and listen.

Why is Barkis so important?

Like I said, desire is hard to create and find. Don’t squander the opportunity. But it’s perhaps the underlying impacts that a Barkis can have that make this important to nurture.

Desire and passion are contagious. They are palpable. Just like when you genuinely smile at someone they are more likely to genuinely smile as well. And smiling feels good. So does desire. And at work how often do you get to feel good? The key to change is changing culture, perceptions, moods and so on. What better to influence these than a collective increase in a desire to be part of a vision.

Credibility. You are dead in the water without it. And believe it or not the best credibility you can have doesn’t come from you. It comes from someone who probably doesn’t have a stake in the game. You and the management tasked with a project don’t count. Someone who’s gotten the vision, found some passion around it and is willing to talk about it will bring credibility to the vision that can’t be bought.

As with many things it’s your job to nurture your Barkis, mold your Barkis and of course not let Barkus go too far off path, which is why having a good vision is so important. You can be flexible without losing sight of the goal.

Because in the end it’s about Barkis and his friends changing course, not you.