The Blue Sky Approach | The Human Approach To People Change

The Blue Sky Approach

At Blue Sky we’re on a mission to make organisations more human, one conversation at a time. We’re experts in telling positive stories, building agile cultures and having powerful conversations. And we’re experts in helping you to hack these systems too with an approach to people change that helps you work with, not against, your most powerful resource.

The Human Code

At the core of what we do is The Human Code: our unique blueprint for the fundamental human drivers and behaviours that determine how the internal climates of organisations operate.

The Culture Code

We then use this code to inform The Culture Code: our end-to-end programme designed to achieve rapid and lasting change for businesses of all sizes, sectors and aims. The Culture Code is adapted for each client, but it always draws on our three unique areas of expertise.

Humans are creatures of meaning and storytelling has played a massive role in how and why we’ve evolved.

From the first hieroglyphic myths created around 30,000 years ago to the best practices shared within tribes when the agricultural revolution hit, stories have long been our species’ superpower. Storytelling is both pleasurable and contagious, encouraging empathy and triggering pleasure hormones in our brains. It’s social glue. However, too many organisations forget to pay attention to their stories. Rather than crafting clear narratives that carry their values and spread the behaviours they want to see, they let a whole army of rumours and half-truths take hold. These demotivating folktales colonise the minds of their people and dictate how they behave.

If you want to change an organisation, you must first change its stories. But to do that, you need to know what stories you want to tell in the first place. You also need to understand how to make positive, persuasive storytelling an everyday behaviour in your business. It isn’t easy, but it’s the most powerful performance tool you have.

As a species, we have many flaws, but we’ve managed to dominate the planet thanks to one unique human skill: flexible cooperation.

We’ve learnt to work together, sharing beliefs, learnings and expertise to achieve amazing goals – from healthcare systems to banks.

Unfortunately, innovation has outpaced evolution. Anthropological studies show that we can only really maintain stable relationships within groups of 150 people, but most modern organisations require their people to cooperate in vast global teams. When they don’t work, leaders layer on rules, frameworks and targets to try and restore control. The upshot? Autonomy evaporates, judgement atrophies and everything from CSAT scores to retention nosedives. Time and again, we see three sorts of organisation. One that is thriving, but struggling to prioritise and manage its explosive growth. One that is striving, with great intent and pockets of brilliance but deep inconsistencies. And one that is simply surviving, amidst a fog of fear, apathy and blame.

Rather than buying yet another bit of sexy software, all three might invest in a ‘magic technology’ called climate. By harnessing human instincts rather than trying to bury them, they have the opportunity to grow an agile, creative, trust-based climate ready to handle anything the future might bring. Because that’s something no-one can control.

Every innovation in our history has come from somebody stepping outside of the norm. Rebels. Outliers. Rule breakers.

Or, in the words of behavioural psychology, positive deviants. Every organisation has them. They’re the ones right at the top of your distribution curve of performance – the tiny percentage of over-achievers who consistently out-deliver everyone else.

Sadly, however, companies tend to chalk their results up to talent or luck. Figuring the deviants don’t need any help, they leave them to it, and instead focus on trying to force the mass of people in the middle – the doing-Ok’ers – to improve their performance, using the most fashionable measurements and methods at the time.
But what if the secret of success was right under their nose? What if they actually studied what it was that their deviants were doing (and they’re all probably doing something different) to drive a better customer outcome, more sales, more growth? What if they were able to capture those behaviours and replicate them across the organisation, using something as free, plentiful and natural as conversation? Well, quite.

Get in touch today!

If you’d like to find out more about people change, discuss your challenges or simply get a feel for who we are, get in touch.

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