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Building a platform for global change - S2:E4 Strategy Hero reflections

How do you leverage your vision and passion to inspire change? Here's what I learned from season two, episode four of Strategy Hero with Ryan Henson.

One of the great things about the Strategy Hero podcast is that it provides everyone (you, me, and the rest of our audience) the opportunity to learn from people from all walks of life.

From connecting over a shared interest in international development and social mobility to the role that your passion and messaging play in inspiring change, here's what I learned from my time with Ryan Henson.

It’s important to note that my opinions do not reflect those of i-nexus, Ryan Henson, The Coalition For Global Prosperity.



Why Ryan?

Ryan's background is hard to neatly label.

After leaving school and working as a kitchen porter, re-entering education, working in politics, and now his important work at The Coalition For Global Prosperity, his experiences clearly shaped him. 

As you get to know Ryan, you can see someone who is passionate about the work that he does.


"You shouldn’t rely on luck to get on."


Ryan's work around social mobility is about giving opportunities for people to learn, grow, and achieve.

Those are the very same goals that we have for our teams, careers, and relationships. 

I believe it's important to broaden our horizons. Ryan's episode, alongside Festus' and Kit's, is another example of that. Expanding our world to learn from people outside only benefits our critical thinking.


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The impact of messaging on change

Change management is consistently featured throughout the history of Strategy Hero, and Ryan's episode was no different. 

Ryan's entire session was about building a platform for change.

His change is at a global, social level, whereas yours is likely in your day to day role.

In any case, there are three areas he recommends you focus on when it comes to how you deliver the message of change.

  1. Be authentic: Ask yourself what excites you and gives your day meaning. How is that reflected in how you come to work and inspire others through the tasks you do or how you direct your teams? That needs to flow through how you talk, walk, and how you act.

  2. Find middle ground: People cannot always empathize with your passion, but it's important to find a way to reach across the aisle. Middle ground can come from involving key stakeholders in developing your goals, through to framing your updates in a language that your audience cares for.

  3. Get aligned: Accept that alignment is always a work in progress. Do not rehearse and over-engineering your messaging, instead focus on making what you say truthful, relevant, and consistent with your vision.


And underneath all of this, be humble. Use that humility as a starting point to work with colleagues and people across the organization to form partnerships that strengthen your approach.

With that platform it'll be easier to see and acknowledge people's efforts, and gradually align everyone to one path.


How know-how fits in

Context is king. So knowing who you're talking to is important.

Not everyone has the same motivations. Change is about the collective, not the few.

If you can be honest about performance and bring everything back to your vision and values, you've got a solid foundation.

But what about when you're reporting to a leadership who hasn't the subject matter knowledge/practical experience you've got? And how about if the tables are turned and you're the one in a leadership role?

It's one thing to talk from a thousand mile view. It's another to have experience of doing what you're asking people to do.

The key, according to Ryan, is to be productive with that reality. Your ability to understand what you're asking people to do (or the opposite) will impact the success of your change initiatives. 

You need to make sense of the situation. Reading academic papers or blogs isn't enough. Don't dip your toe in, go and swim.

Perhaps that's impractical or unrealistic, but that shouldn't stop you from exploring how you can get hands on time with the work that you're asking others to do.

The most popular way of doing that is throguh the beloved Gemba walk.


My takeaway: passion and consistency underpin successful change management

Passion and consistency are the driving forces behind any successful change initiative.

As Ryan showed in his episode on Strategy Hero, staying true to what excites you and gives your work meaning is key to inspiring others.

Finding middle ground and aligning your messaging with your vision are crucial steps in building a platform for change.

By being authentic, humble, and focused on collaboration, you can create a solid foundation for progress.

Remember, change is about the collective effort, not just a few individuals.

Embrace the challenge of understanding different perspectives and gaining hands-on experience to truly connect with those you are leading.

In the journey towards change, let passion and consistency be your True North.

Thanks for being our fourth hero of the season, Ryan!


Listen to the episode

Ryan's episode was the fourth of season two of Strategy Hero.

You can click here to listen to Ryan's episode, search "Strategy Hero" wherever you find your favorite podcasts, or click the play button below.

About Strategy Hero

Published on the last Thursday of every month, the Strategy Hero podcast delves into the world of business strategy and transformation.

Each cast shines a spotlight on a Strategy Hero – inspirers, boundary pushers, and leaders of change from all walks of life – armed with practical advice on achieving your goals.

Episodes explore topics around operational excellence, Lean management, process improvement, change management, and much, much more. Available where all great podcasts live, listen on-demand today, and discover the Strategy Hero inside you.


About the host

James Milsom is Head of Marketing at i-nexus, but James is a storyteller. He’s the UK’s biggest Georgia Bulldogs fan (Go Dawgs!) and lives and breathes marketing.

The Strategy Hero podcast is his opportunity to bring some of his conversations with mentors, inspirers, and people anew to you every month.

He’s behind the content read and watched by people like you and lives to educate and help others.

If you’d like to learn more about him, connect with him on LinkedIn and subscribe to the Strategy Hero podcast today!