Helen Bevan's speech at Rainmaker 2019 was quite brilliant and covered a lot of ground starting with framing the scales of the challenges that the NHS faces from the changing demographics of the UK and how that makes change essential.
It was a real privilege for us to listen to someone of Helen's stature addressing the challenges of change within an organisation as critical, varied and huge as the NHS. The feedback that I heard over and over as I spoke with the audience later in the day, was how applicable and relevant her experience was to the challenges faced by organisations across the Professional Services industry.
The part that struck me though was how she contrasted the "old power" structures where there is the conventional pyramid shown below and the "new power" structures where 3% of people in an organisation can influence the remaining 85%.
Helen's point was that it would take four times as much effort and resource to effect a change through the old power structures than by working with the new. However, she was not suggesting that the old power structure should be replaced by the new; the two power structures are in-place simultaneously.