New Book,‘Homo Imitans’, Shows How to Create Social Infections and Meaningful Change in Organizations and Society

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Leandro Herrero’s new book, ‘Homo Imitans – the art of social infection; Viral Change™ in action’, shows the mechanisms of the creation of social infections, a term that he applies both to the internal cultural changes in organizations and the macro-social changes in the public arena.

Social copying and social imitation are not new phenomena to be discovered by social scientists but the business organization has paid little attention other than in anecdotal ways. In his previous book, ‘Viral Change™ : the alternative to slow, painful and unsuccessful management of change in organizations’ (meetingminds, 2nd Edition, 2008) , Dr Herrero described how peer-to-peer influence represents the best kept secret for orchestrating organizational change. Now, in Homo Imitans(http://www.homoimitans.com), he articulates the five ingredients of change, whether inside the organization or in the public arena and, in the process, he reveals why many social-change initiatives (from political change to health campaigns ) don’t work.

‘The business of ‘management of change’ is the messiest of all’ – Dr Herrero says. ‘Most initiatives fail one way or another. The new organization and the new environment require a completely different approach: we need to focus on behaviours (more than processes and systems), on peer-to-peer influence (more than hierarchical), on informal social networks (more than formal structures such as teams), on stories (more than a myriad of PowerPoint floating around), and on a new kind of distributed leadership and true ‘activism’ (more than traditional top down)’

Homo Imitans also describes ‘The Five Disciplines’ of the pioneering methodology called Viral Change™. They match the five components which Dr Herrero illustrates: behavioural change management, scalable influence, social network nurturing, storytelling and distributed leadership.

‘Viral Change™ is a powerful way to create meaningful change in organizations and society - Claus Maron, senior partner of Viral Change LLP says. ‘It is very different from the traditional, mechanistic way that has dominated decades of academia and organizational consulting. Viral Change™ is also a way of life, a way of understanding how the modern organization works. Change is a social infection and social infections are not created by training packages or powerpoint presentations. Homo Imitans is a great addition to the body of understanding upon which our consulting work is based’

Leandro Herrero is the managing partner of Viral Change LLP (http://www.viralchange.com), and CEO of The Chalfont Project Limited (http://www.thechalfontproject.com) Both global companies provide professional consulting services, both strategic and implementational, in a diverse spectrum of organizational challenges, from large-scale cultural change and broad organizational transformation, to specific focus in areas such as innovation, effectiveness, employee engagement or behavioural change in health and safety.

Homo Imitans – the art of social infection; Viral Change™ in action is published by meetingminds (2011) and is available through al main online bookstores: amazon.co.uk; amazon.com, barnes and noble, etc

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Allison Spargo

Claus Maron