In following on from the last post, here is the second part of my talk on how Wonder Woman can teach the change community a thing or two about emerging capabilities.

Wonder Woman was the keeper of advanced tools and technology of the Amazons.



She possessed

  • The Lariat of Hestia
  • The Aegis of Athena
  • The Royal Tiara
  • The Purple Healing Ray
  • The invisible Jet

Understanding of technology and digital tools is the area that I most see that our community is lacking in. We are laggards in technology adoption and it strains our credibility terribly. Much of the disruption we face is born of new technology.

Tools and technology are not independent of courage, integrity and truth. They sit in a delicate balance. We can fall into the trap of using tools as a proxy for courage, our methodology is our safety net.

The medium is the message

Marshall McLuhan was a technological determinist. This is best captured by his quote we shape our tools and then our tools shape us. The medium is the message

An example –  with the technology of social media we see changing norms in voicing behaviour, engagement and brand or change advocacy. Yet as a community we are slow to engage and try new things. This puts us on the back foot.


Your homework is to print out this sheet and work out how many terms you would not be able to explain to your grandmother, AND write a sentence on how it might impact change management practice OR your change project.

Beware the “Social Cooling”

You may have seen the term social cooling on the handout.

It’s a term to cover the phenomena of where people change their social habits (web browsing, Instagram posts, Facebook updates out of concern that big data is being used in an unethical way. Certainly there is evidence that the unethical or problematic use of big data is comprising your future prospects.

So let’s take this to the next step – yammer, SharePoint online browsing activity, click throughs on eDMS. Companies who are starting to use Machine Learning to assist in managerial decision making may have a very different view of what is happening to what really happens. And what happens when that distorted direction making informs your change?

But what is new is old – we already know from the Hawthorne Effect discovered in the early 50’s that people do this. And we have already counselled leadership on their interpretation of data before the machines got involved.

But you need to know about social cooling to be able to have that conversation.

You need to be relentless in your exploration of new tools, new techniques, curious about application and prepared to experiment.

So how to summarise this?

Courage, integrity, truth to assist you in scanning, syntheisizing, playing , practicing and adapting the tools and emerging technologies

  • What’s on the horizon?
  • How can you synthesize those trends in context of your practice?
  • Play with them
  • Practice to a level of mastery
  • And adapt your practice

When next you are stuck in your practice and worried about the future ask yourself

What would wonder woman do ?


For the full talk …


Dr Jen Frahm – Author of Conversations of Change: A guide to implementing workplace change.

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