Trying to change company culture to one where talent development occurs informally and daily, Accenture developed the 30 Day Challenge: a social experiment using blogging, where 8650 people volunteered to commit daily acts of people development. On average, each participant impacted 7 people during the month, more than 61,000 total.
No Time 1
It’s clear that people development is important – but, the team lead says, he has no time for it. At least not until the changes are finished.
He’s making several assumptions about people development:
• Serving the client must be the only priority at this time
• People development means performance reviews, mentoring meetings, and other formal interactions separate from the task at hand
• People development serves various individual, team, and institutional long-term goals, but has little direct connection to the immediate goal of serving the client
• In other words, the hypothetical team leader assumes that people development goals must be balanced against the goal of serving the client, rather than contributing to serving the client. That it is “on top of” doing business, rather than “how we do business.”
Do you recognize these assumptions in yourself? How about the rest of your company?
It’s easy to relegate “people development” to a low priority. After all, operating the business and creating value are urgent needs that demand our attention. There’s rarely a deadline around developing people... until it’s too late.
In the scenario described above, what would happen if the team leader continuously acts according to those assumptions?
Over time, the likelihood is that these people will not want to work for him. They’ll be tired, demotivated, and disengaged. That’s disastrous for the business and for the client. So in the medium to long-term, as his team members lose productivity and maybe even leave the team or the organization, he’s not doing his client any favors. He’s doing them a disservice.
In this next video, the panellists are operating from a different set of assumptions. They don’t see people development as something done “in addition” to getting the work done – they see it as integral to how one does get the work done.
No Time 2
In summary, in Accenture we believe that:
• People development that only happens “after the work is done” is not real people development
• A team that is being developed every day is better able to handle the most challenging times
• It is during the challenging times, and not after the work is done, that a leader’s feedback and support matter most.
We cannot just add “develop people” to our to-do list and check it off when we’re done. We need to integrate developing our people into everything we do. Every interaction, every conversation, and every piece of work is an opportunity to develop our people. As we operate the business and create value for our internal and external clients, developing our people enables us to reach higher performance.
In other words, at Accenture it’s not something we do in addition to our business. “Developing People Is our
This was the business problem we wanted to solve, moving our people from seeing people development as something that happens after the work is done, to something that is integral to accomplishing the work. A belief shift, rather than a skill development need.
Part of the paradigm shift was around the amount of time available for people development. Leaders saw it as time-consuming, taking them away from the business for an hour or more at a time. We needed leaders to view people development as multiple, very short “micro-actions” on-the-job. Actions which build trust, engagement and productivity when applied little and often.
Previously, we had successfully used Socratic Dialogues as one way to achieve this shift, where people have
their own aha moments in dialogue with their teams about people development. Those aha moments shifted
beliefs, and with them also behaviours. The question was how to build on that success, and how to model the micro-action philosophy.
Continuous Learning Model
The continuous learning model differentiates Accenture. It is driven by formal learning, collaboration (interacting with peers and experts) and on-the-job experience. So I really wanted to design a learning experience that fit into the on-the-job experience part of our continuous learning model. Something that would get people to apply their learning right there on the job, rather than having to translate what they learned in a classroom into their daily work lives. After all, learning and training lead to better performance when properly aligned with work activity.
While I was scratching my head and searching for the right answer, I stumbled across a news article about a colleague, Marissa Gilbert, who had used blog posts to send out a “pay-it-forward”- type of 30 day challenge every day for a month. I immediately saw the applicability to the business problem I needed to solve.
And our participants rated this experience highly, as a fun, experiential way to learn and to collaborate with
others. I knew that providing a phenomenal learning experience for Accenture people is one of the key drivers
behind our learning innovations.
And thus the 30 Day Challenge: “Developing People Is our Business” was born.
What is the 30 Day Challenge?
30 Day Challenge consists of thirty micro-actions. Micro-actions are activities that can be integrated into the daily work, things that take less than ten minutes to accomplish. Usually, the actions we request of our people take time in preparation and implementation. I wanted these micro-actions to stand in contrast to that typical approach. Given that I wanted people to take the actions every day, they needed to be manageable. Not only that, I wanted to show that it’s the “little” things that make all the difference. They add up over time, contributing to people’s engagement bit by bit. Here are some examples. Notice just how “micro” – and common sensical -- they are:
• Write a note/letter to someone today. Perhaps a thank-you note or a note that simply says you’re thinking about the person.
• Pay yourself an act of kindness, to congratulate yourself on a job well done this week, no matter how great or small.
- Ask two people how their days are going or how their days went, and really listen to them
- Start a team meeting/conference call with a positive recount of what's going right.
- Step back from doing everything yourself, and identify one task that you will delegate today. Take a look at this Delegation job aid to learn more about how to stretch people through delegation.
- At the end of the day, write down three things that went right this week. Getting in the habit of looking for the positives around you will pay dividends and give you many things to recognize.
- Reach out to someone today and ask how you might help them.
- Ask someone to introduce you to someone new to expand your network today.
- Watch this 2 minute video [Everybody has a Story], and then make it a point to connect with someone at a human level today.
- Ask open questions instead of telling someone what to do. See how the other person thrives, as your questions enable them to come to their own conclusions.
Before the campaign officially began, people signed up to receive the challenges in their inbox, from my blog. Ideally, I wanted people to comment, within the blog, on the actions they had taken and the impact they noticed on themselves, the people around them, and the business. Those who did comment seemed to learn more about their beliefs and actions by this simple act of reflection. I also summarized the comments the next day, to draw out the themes in the learning, for the benefit of those who had not read the comments.
This was social media on its best day, encouraging on-the-job learning, reflection and behaviour change. A kind of action learning, if you like.
The challenge also enabled us to connect people to job aids and other performance support tools, which they might otherwise not have had access to.
Our guiding principle was that everything must be readable and actionable in less than ten minutes, to be sure that people would take action that day.
Instead of focusing on HR regulations, policies, and processes...we focus on the employees and their experience.
Because ultimately, although Accenture is living a powerful story - a story of helping our customers achieve high performance - our story is only as strong as the stories of each one of our people.
Each Accenture person is living their own story.
Our job (in HR and managers of people) is to help each person live the best story they can.
If we focus on each individual’s story, we must trust that will create a better story for Accenture.
And to accomplish this, HR needs to keep the Employee Experience square in their sights as they strategize, organize, and solve problems.
Our Talent Development strategy builds on this:
- Infusing New Talent
Infusing talent into the company is a journey and experience, not a transaction. We aim to touch the hearts and minds of our new people. All while increasing their speed to performance, and spreading their expertise throughout Accenture to grow our overall capability.
- Elevating Performance to New Heights
Performance management elevates individual, team, and organizational performance. We will build on this and strengthen our high performance culture. Our people will know clearly what is expected, how they are performing, and develop through ongoing feedback. And we will have a differentiated rating process which recognizes our business diversity.
- Unleashing Untapped Potential
Our people can achieve even greater success for themselves and our clients by reaching their full potential. We can help them do this by focusing on their strengths and skills, and encouraging a growth mindset through development planning. And our business leaders make talent management decisions based on potential instead of just performance ratings. All leading to short and long term success.
- Learning Anytime, Anywhere
Our people’s need to learn every day to bring the best to our clients is accelerating. New approaches and technologies are unleashing a learning revolution. Interconnected classrooms, immersive virtual learning, and open digital learning will allow us to bring phenomenal learning to all our people, when and where they need it.
- Creating Career Journeys
Our people are our best source of talent – for today and for our future leadership. Investing in our people’s career development is essential to long term growth. Careers marketplace and international mobility bring transparency and opportunity to our people so they can envision and create their best career story at Accenture and beyond.
- Growing Leaders at all Levels
Investing in leadership is paramount to Accenture’s success today and tomorrow. We will invest in employee leadership development throughout their career, creating authentic leaders who communicate a compelling vision, develop others providing valuable feedback, and deliver bottom line results. We will start by sparking and raising the effectiveness of our key leadership roles – supervisors and career counselors.
Of course, the 30 Day Challenge and the blog cannot be credited entirely for this current Talent Development strategy, but it had an influence, by keeping People Development front and center over the past 7 years, and continually revisiting the responsibilities and skills of managers.
Since these first two 30 Day Challenges, there have been multiple spin-offs both within the company, and for our clients. Within Accenture, this has been helped by an ever-evolving social learning platform, which now includes gamification elements which are encouraging greater collaboration online.
1. The Coaching Challenge
The goal of the Coaching Challenge was to shift both mindset and skill-set of participants, around coaching. The outcome would be leaders willing and able to coach our people.
“Employees with ‘conversation gaps’ [conversations that they want to have, but do not] are 280% more likely to say they intend to leave a company.” (Career Innovation)
“Coaching has a 2x greater impact on business results (productivity, engagement, etc.) vs. paying for performance.” (Bersin & Associates)
With all this in mind, we saw a gap in how our leaders coach their people, and this Coaching Challenge built on what we learned from the 30 Day Challenge.
The first challenge each week was to read a description of one coaching competency, and then watch a video or listen to an audio recording of a real coaching session, to identify how that competency was applied.
The first competency was Powerful Questioning, and the description was as follows (aligned with the International Coaching Federation):
Ability to ask questions that reveal the information needed for maximum benefit to the coaching relationship and the coachee.
1. Asks questions that reflect active listening and an understanding of the coachee’s perspective,
2. Asks questions that evoke discovery, insight, commitment or action (e.g., those that challenge the coachee’s assumptions),
3. Asks open-ended questions that create greater clarity, possibility or new learning
4. Asks questions that move the coachee towards what they desire, not questions that ask for the coachee to justify or look backwards.
Providing the competency and then a video/audio demonstration provided vicarious learning, that was important for two reasons:
- It’s one thing to understand something cognitively; quite another to understand what it looks like in practice.
- Bandura’s research (“Cognitive Process Mediating Behavioral Change,” Cognitive Therapy and Research, 1977) shows how effective modeling others’ behaviors can be, when learning something new.
Individuals were then asked to reflect on what they saw/heard, and comment upon that in the comments box for all readers to learn from. They were learning from their own reflections and from the reflections of others.
The second challenge each week involved a short activity with a buddy to put that competency into action, and receive feedback. For this activity, participants learned in three ways:
- By practicing the skill themselves, and receiving feedback.
- By experiencing how it felt to be coached by their buddy. This aspect was crucial in shifting their mindset about the effectiveness of coaching, experiencing how much more empowering that was for them than being told what to do.
- By reflecting in the comments box again on what they had learned and would do differently in the future.
We believe that meaningful conversations use a coach-approach. So we gave them a series of seven coaching conversations to have, to practice the coaching competencies, and to show that each conversation builds on the next; building trust, building awareness in the coachee, creating progress.
The participants of the Coaching Challenge told us that they felt inspired and engaged themselves, and were committed to carrying on coaching others:
- Primary impact would be motivation, inspiration and something I could use as a conversation starter with my colleagues (around coaching).
- It has made me more aware of the importance of coaching and made me have these conversations with peers and direct reports more frequently. I have definitely noticed an improvement in the quality of conversations I have with others.
- This blog reminds me about the things I know I should be doing and helps give me that "kick in the pants" I sometimes need to get my head out of my client's needs to focus on the needs of my team.
At the beginning of the Coaching Challenge, we asked participants to take a survey and report on the frequency of how often they were using critical coaching behaviors. The same survey was given at the completion of the Coaching Challenge. The “before”-survey was sent two weeks before the challenge started, and the “after”-survey was sent three months after the challenge was completed, to check for sustained change. So even after three months, participants were still reporting a change in behavior as a result of the challenge.
230 people completed the pre-challenge survey, and 60 people completed the post-challenge survey.
75% of participants report that they were able to apply the coaching skills in the Challenge in their daily activities. These skills are tied in to the International Coach Federation competencies, so we know that we are targeting best practices in coaching.
The goal of the practice was to increase the frequency within which participants applied coaching behaviors on-the-job. The frequency of every coaching behavior rose across the group participating.
- Coaching behaviors associated with setting expectations rose by an average of 5.5%.
- Coaching behaviors associated with critical thinking rose by 14.5%.
- Behaviors associated with building trust and motivation rose by 10.8%.
- Coaching behaviors associated with frequency and planning rose by an average of 11%.
We have created an anytime, anywhere version of the challenge, so that it does not need to rely on any particular blogger to post the challenges. We have transposed all of the challenges, videos, discussions, handouts and blog posts to a platform that allows people to sign up and then receive a phased release of the challenges to their inbox.
2. Culture change for a client
A global services and devices organisation launched a new business strategy intended to establish a new way of working: being more collaborative, communicative, decisive and motivated. To successfully adopt and sustain these new norms, they needed to be distilled into specific behaviours that people could put into practice and get “in the muscle”. Alongside the culture change there was a desire to increase adoption of a social media tool, making it essential in future working practices
The client also considered that successful adoption of these behaviours would lead to additional outcomes of increased trust and transparency showing up in openness and collaboration
The 30-Day Challenge is a behavioural intervention of micro-actions that gets the behaviour “into the muscle” by integrating small activities, which take under 10 minutes to accomplish, into daily work. The way that the original 30-Day Challenge went viral and delivered fast-paced culture change inspired us and our clients. We chose to use the challenge idea as it draws on our insights which bring together neuroscience, behaviour change, and technology to deliver sustained behavioural change and adoption:
- Repetition of behaviour over 30 days drives habit formation to drive sustained behavioural adoption
- The communications encouraging everyone to get involved in the challenges promotes “herd mentality” to drive sign-up
- Allow participants to make their own connections to aid learning
- Reflect both rational and emotional drivers in challenges to shift behaviour
- Visuals that accompany the challenges help produce ‘memories of the future’
The social platform
- We leverage a social platform (e.g. Yammer) as a “persuasive social proof platform” which means that people are encouraged to emulate the good behaviours on display
- The ability to publically recognise participants drives motivation through positive feedback
We built on the original innovative idea in the following ways:
- Social Media: We saw that combining social media with the 30 Day Challenge could accelerate behaviour change and leave a corporate memory behind it. We have run 30 Day Challenges on Yammer, Jam and Circles. Using social media means that a “double whammy of collaboration” can be achieved embedding the desired behaviour at the same time as driving collaboration. Social media also flattens the hierarchy, providing employees direct access to the leaders and Executive Team, and can cross geographical boundaries as well as time zones
- Measurement: Built a 30 Day Challenge dashboard to measure participation, activity, leadership engagement and segment analysis to provide weekly updates on the progress, measure behaviour change and support business outcome analysis.
- Gamification: We are in the process of combining gamification with the 0 Day Challenge. We also presented a leader board on a weekly basis to drive further adoption through intrinsically motivating participants
- 30 Day Challenge events: throughout the 30 Day Challenge, we encourage the client to hold a launch event, VIP event (recognise high performers and drive competition), refresher event (to boost engagement) and a celebration event (to recognise contributions and shift into sustainability)
We faced the following challenges:
- Leadership involvement: leader activity is the greatest driver of participation, the success of the challenge and its impact can be dramatically increased if senior leaders pull others into the challenge by inviting them directly, actively participate in the challenges, sharing their own stories and recognising the contributions of others. To support and encourage leadership involvement we ask each of the Executive Team to post a daily challenge and prompt the leaders to respond to challenges. This requires robust stakeholder management to engage and support the Executive Team; this worked really well in this case.
- Second level leaders: In order to drive further engagement from all employees, efforts need to also be concentrated on the second level leaders
- Novices: At times it appeared that there was a lack of beginners posting in the challenge group. To alleviate this next time we would go even further to ensure that complete beginners felt that the Yammer group was a safe environment to try out new behaviours by identifying a group of beginners at the outset and coaching them through the first few challenges to encourage them to post, even at simple levels
We experienced the following outcomes:
- Exceptionally high participation and viral spread: >50% of the target group participated; and a high number of people from beyond the target audience
- Yammer becoming part of everyday working life and practice
- Generated interest in sustaining the collaborative behaviours post-30DC
- Virtual teams forming to support in client discussions
- Flattening of hierarchy exposed people to the business strategy
- Increased speed to find answers
For more insights into this culture change challenge, read the Culture Change in a Digital World presentation in the materials section.
3. New Joiner Challenge
Lauren Lobel writes...In global onboarding, we’re looking to win the hearts and minds of our new joiners via a variety of resources, media and tools. The goal of my 25 Essential Accenture Tools was to provide a series of interesting challenges to help new joiners acclimate to Accenture while teaching them how to use our Accenture Collaboration tools effectively.
This seemed like a fun way to encourage action rather than just reading through websites. Plus challenge-based approaches often enable more interaction either with other people, systems or tools. This gives the new joiner a sense of empowerment vs. feeling overwhelmed by the vast number of resources available within Accenture.
I thought the original 30 day challenge was an interesting and low-cost way to get people curious about collaboration in general and an effective platform to accomplish my goals of helping new joiners feel better connected to one another and Accenture. I also liked that Clare was a real person out there available to help coach, guide and (when needed) cheerlead.
I focused more on blogging than micro-blogging. This was a very calculated decision because I wanted the assets I created as part of the challenge to be searchable and usable by future new joiners. Therefore everything I wrote (tips, advice, etc.) all was designed for the challenge but ultimately could be 100% reusable as stand-alone information or as part of the end-to-end series.
Lots of people within Accenture doubt the power of social media tools, don’t use them or aren’t sure where to begin. So I think the biggest challenge was overall education about what this is all about, followed by the need to teach some people step-by-step how to participate. This wasn’t true for everyone, but a larger number than I would have expected.
Following the completion of the 25 Essential Accenture Tools campaign, we sent out a confidential survey to all participants. I received detailed feedback from 50 people, representing all workforces, levels, entities and 13 of the 15 geographies. High-level results:
- 100% would recommend this program to a new joiner
- 90% found the program personally helpful
- 88% said they’d feel comfortable approaching me with a specific question
- 82% thought the campaign was the right length – and 75% said they read all or most of the 25 posts during the month
- 80% said more than half of the content included was new to them
Meanwhile, my Accenture 101 blog is going strong, with over 50,000 hits to date and 130+ unique posts. Aspects of this blog campaign also served as inspiration for the Year One at Accenture site, which enables New Joiners to digest information, spaced out over their first year.
I think that the key to a Challenge activity is advertising, advertising, advertising. I’m not sure I’d do anything differently because I had a lot of fun and overall a very successful campaign. However I would probably do more of what worked which is to get the word out both through global messaging and grass roots efforts. The more people aware of the challenge, the better!
4. Power up the Grid (a challenge in progress today)
We are in the process of preparing for a new set of program component rollouts for our Technology Innovation program. We wanted to increase participation in the community so that we’ll reach a larger audience as we move to phase 2 of our program. We also wanted to build a base level of skills among our people in innovation and social collaboration. We chose a challenge-based activity because it is easy to implement and provides a simple way to identify the future leaders of the program.
Timing was the biggest thing we changed. This challenge is spread over 8 weeks with one challenge/week. It’s also timed to align with the end of the A3 quarter so we can monitor the change in A3 scores in the target audience to see if the program had any impact. (A3 is our way gamified way of identifying our top collaborators in the company).
We are part way through the challenge and are getting positive anecdotal feedback – the “Power Up” blog posts have all made it to the ‘top viewed blog’ list within Accenture.
See Community building attachment for the Power Up Challenges, in the Materials section.
These are just a handful of spin-offs from the original 30 Day Challenge. Others include the Emotional Intelligence Challenge, the High Performance Learner Challenge, the Learning Decathlon, the Collaboration Event, and multiple People Developer Challenges using the original challenges. At the same time as changing their mindset and building their skills, our employees are also learning to collaborate using our social media channels, a win for our people, a win for our business, a win for our clients.
A couple of people told us that once they had missed a few challenges, they became disheartened and then didn’t take any at all from that point on – and then felt guilty for it. This parallels a typical workplace process, so this in itself is good learning for people about their own motivation. I learned that we should encourage participants not to worry if they miss a day or two or ten, but instead to pick up where they left off and keep going. Any action is better than no action.
We integrated this learning into the second 30 Day Challenge.
In the second year, we had some issues with the technology just before the challenge month. Unbeknownst to me, Accenture was moving onto a different platform right at the crucial moment, and a couple of things got messed up. I apologied profusely to the blog readers, and worked closely with our technology folks, keeping the followers informed of progress, so luckily they were patient and stuck with the challenge. After day 2, things were back to normal.
A picture speaks a thousand words
For the second 30 Day Challenge, we chose pictures that connect at an emotional level, and embedded these into the blog posts. We had used these pictures in the e-Book that summarised year one's 30 day challenge, and people had responded extremely positively to them.
3500 people signed up in the first year, and 8650 signed up the second year, to receive the challenges each day. They were recruited through multiple communications channels, including invitations from existing blog followers, adverts in our internal portal, emails from leadership to key account teams. Once they had subscribed, all communications and feedback loops were through the blog itself.
That so many people voluntarily signed up tells us how much our people value people development, and how seriously they take the responsibility.
Because we used social media to distribute the challenges, we were able to reach a global audience. In fact, we had participants from fifty-two different countries. They were from all levels of the organization, and across all our workforces.
Another Accenture belief is that you can be a leader at any level, and from any seat. This was a great way to
encourage our pipeline of leaders to embrace the Developing People Is our Business belief, and to start applying that philosophy early in their careers, so they can make a habit of it.
A few teams took the challenge together to provide encouragement and learn from each other through conversation.
The ripple effect
Immediately after the challenge, we asked each participant how many other people they felt they had impacted as a result of the challenges. According to the self-reports, each participant had an impact on an average of seven people as a result of the challenge. If we extrapolate that out to the 8650 people who took part in year two, we had a positive impact on over 61,000people.
Thirty days after the challenge finished, we sent a survey to participants, asking which challenges they completed and the business impacts they observed. One hundred and sixty-one people responded.
We found that the typical respondent engaged in thirteen challenges during the month.
Over 60% of respondents completed the following challenges:
• Ask two people how their days are going or how their days went, and really listen to them
• Think about someone who inspires you and to tell that person why he/she does
• Remember to make eye contact and listen with genuine interest
• Write a note/letter to someone. Perhaps a thank-you note or a note that simply says you’re thinking about the person
• Sit down and take the time to have a conversation with someone, without rushing on to the next task or meeting.
We draw two conclusions from this:
1. It seems that those challenges which were already likely to be part of their working day, which simply needed a tweak in the way they did them, were more likely to be undertaken
2. Those which are about recognizing others were more likely to be undertaken, especially as we gave them a
link to a neat e-postcard tool for the thank you note challenge, which many of them had not previously seen (the usage of this site increased by 300% on the days surrounding this challenge).
In addition to the recognition challenges, we also saw that challenges to do with networking were popular.
Change in behavior
In the thirty days after the challenge month, people reported that they were still taking actions as a result of the challenge, more so than they did before the challenge (though not to the same degree as during the challenge month). However, people were more likely to be engaging in behaviours that increased the quality of their communication, or coached and developed others. People observed moderate business impacts in a number of additional areas, with the largest being their own level of engagement, and increased opportunities to collaborate with others.
Cost and value
In summary, we must ensure there is value in what we spend on learning. At Accenture, we continue to look for ways to deliver that learning as cost-effectively as possible. This was one way of creating value for our business, at an ultra lowcost per person. The entire project cost around 20 cents to set up and run for each participant.
• Be very clear about the business outcome you hope to achieve
• Identify your target audience
• Identify your criteria for choosing challenges. At the very least, choose challenges that are short (less than 5 minutes) to put into practice, and relevant to your performance outcomes. If you work in a virtual environment, make sure the challenges are possible in that context
• While challenges may look like common sense at first glance, the ones that provide a “twist” seem to be received the best, e.g., “Ask someone how their day is going, and really listen to their reply”
• Tell people how to sign up to receive the blog/micro-blog each day via alerts, as they are unlikely to go into the post without the reminder. Advertize verbally and in writing for the month before the 30 days start, sending out teasers at minus 30 days, minus 10 days, minus 5 days, minus 1 day
• Keep the challenges secret, to create a buzz of anticipation ahead of the 30 days
• Post the challenges every day, at a consistent time, so people don't e-mail wondering whether they have missed it that day
• For best results, the blogger should summarize the themes coming out of the comments, so participants see the connection to the new belief you want them to have.
Development and Delivery Considerations
• Choose the business-relevant challenges carefully, such that they meet your criteria
• Think ahead about how you want to evaluate success. For example: number people signed up to
receive alerts, demographics of people signed up, comments related to each challenge, demographics of commenters, asking participants about the impact on the business.
Challenge month minus 30 days: Advertising the challenge
• Write a succinct invitation about the purpose of the challenge, and sign-up instructions to receive an alert every day
• Identify relevant meetings where you can let your target audience (or those who communicate to them) know about the challenge. Talk to as many people as you can, and follow up with the invitation
• Include HR in your communications, as they will be in a position to pass on to those they support
• Encourage people in the invitation to send it on to at least three other people in their network, to create viral spread
• Continue to encourage sign-up during the 30 days, as it doesn’t matter if people join late. We had over 2000 people join during the month in the second year.
Challenge Month: Sending the challenges
• Send out challenge at consistent time each day (otherwise people contact you via e-mail wondering if it’s got lost)
• Encourage all communications to happen through comments for everyone to read, rather than directly to your inbox
• Encourage reflection on the actions taken through comments. Ask participants specifically “what was the impact on you, others and the organization?” or “what are you learning?”
• Summarize the comments, especially the learning and the impact, the next day
• Choose challenges for the weekend that can be conducted with family and friends; send Friday, Saturday and Sunday challenges on the Friday
• Given that your aim is to change habits for the longterm, encourage participants to come up with their own challenges on the last day, and to share those with others through the comments
• Bear in mind that if your participants are from multiple
geographies, they may not all receive the challenge on the correct day, due to time zone differences. In order
to be inclusive, I recommend that you recognize this in an early post.
Challenge month plus 30 days: keeping the learning going
• Send the full list of the 30 challenges in one handout, along with any other resources that would be useful to
your audience to continue to meet the business need
• Immediate survey: Ask participants to comment on the impact of the challenge: for example, which challenges
did they take, how many people did they impact as a result of the challenge, and how would they summarize
the impact on themselves, others and the business performance. The very act of asking them which
challenges they took reminds them again of the actions they can continue to take
• You could also encourage participants to create a pod/ vod-cast about what they learned
• Summarize the learning and the impact to the business, and communicate both to those who took part and to
your other stakeholders
• Include a news article about the success of the challenge, in your company’s newsletter, if this is a global challenge, or in a local communication as appropriate
• + 30 day survey. Ask participants which challenges they have continued to put into practice. Again, this serves
as a reminder to them to take the micro-actions.
Diana Barea, Isabel Beattie, Emily Woollaston and many others for taking the 30 Day Challenge to our clients.