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Using Zahmoo in Most Significant Change

If you’re running a change-initiative, how do you know if that initiative has succeeded, and in what ways? Crunching the numbers can help, of course – but often the best tactic is through a story.

A technique called ‘Most Significant Change‘ can help you gain the best benefit from change-stories – and Zahmoo is a perfect fit for this. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Gather your change-stories at the point of action, from the people whose work or lives are affected by this change-initiative. To do this, focus the stories you collect around two key questions:

  • What is the most significant change that happened since the initiative started?
  • Why is this change significant for you?

Capture these stories in your Zahmoo story-collection, in text, audio or video. Use appropriate tags to identify the respective region or other selector for filtering the stories.

Step 2: Get decision-makers to review the stories from their region. From this review, they will select the one story that for them is the most significant in illustrating success in terms of the aims of the change-initiative – and explain why this is their ‘most significant story‘:

We encourage the group to read each story then argue why they think a story is most significant. This discussion helps embed the stories in the minds of the participants while raising issues of strategies and implementation. The participants experience a lively debate and get to know one another and the issues affecting people in the field. Most importantly they develop an intuitive understanding of the impact the initiative is having.

In Zahmoo, tag the selected story as ‘most significant’ for this group, and add a comment that describes the reasons why it was chosen.

Publish back to the region’s story-gatherers the selected story from each region, and the reasons for its selection.

Step 3: Collate the selected stories from each region, and repeat Step 2 with groups of decision-makers at the next level. Again, the discussion is the most important part of this process, to underpin action-learning at each level of the organisation.

As before, tag and comment in Zahmoo the story selected by each group as their choice for ‘most significant’.

Repeat this step as appropriate with other groups and levels of decision-makers, usually until a single¬†story is selected to represent¬†‘most significant change’ for the current stage of the change-initiative.

Step 4: Publish the selected stories and the reasons for their selection – usually featuring the chosen story of ‘most significant change’. For example, this can be done by publishing the Zahmoo URL of the chosen story, complete with all the comments about why it was chosen at each stage of the selection process.

Perhaps most important is to use these stories to guide action-learning and continuous-improvement by and for staff at ‘the coal-face’, as well as for executives and other key decision-makers.

Rather than a one-off ‘event’, it’s usually best to make this a regular review-cycle to evaluate ongoing change. Intervals of 3-6 months are common, though some organisations will even do this on a weekly basis. However often you choose to do this, though, storing and commenting on the stories in Zahmoo will help you in this, every step of the way.

Image credit: Young girl and baby after vaccination by hdptcar (Pierre Holtz for UNICEF) under a Creative Commons BY-2.0 licence.

June 10th, 2012 by Zahmoo
Filed in: For Business, For Community, How to
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Zahmoo is a story bank for collecting and sharing your family and business stories.