06 The Informal Organization – Part I


Understanding how networks work, what some of their fundamental laws are, what degree of informality of the social network is required and what the risks are of trying to create a social infection in the wrong collaborative space, are some of the key elements of Viral Change™.

This product includes:

  • 4 Articles written by Dr Leandro Herrero:
    • There will always be hierarchy, power, and rituals in the organization. The question is how smart we are to choose the right trade off.
    • John Kotter’s 8 Step Change Management model is the best change model of the last Century. Why this is still alive is beyond me.
    • Culture is in the A list, the one where ‘work’ sits. Not in the B list (‘when I have time, after A’)
    • Corporate culture? Start with subcultures, find the tribes, and look for the unwritten rules of their dynamics
  • 1 Book Chapter:
    • A book chapter from Dr Leandro Herrero’s book ‘Homo Imitans, The art of social infection: Viral Change™ in action’: 4.3. Informal Networks
  • 1 Video (accessible via link in Pdf)
    • Social Networks as the third discipline of Viral Change™
  • Time to REFLECT: 4 Questions for you to increase your learning outcome
  • Time to SHARE: A summary of main take-aways you can share with friends & colleagues or via social media

What you will learn:

  • What the informal organization is and how its informal networks work
  • Why we should not ignore the informal organization (as traditional change management programs do)
  • About Social Networks as a discipline of Viral Change™ and how we use it
  • About the functionalities of the Informal Networks
  • About nurturing vs. domesticating the networ

In ‘The Informal Organization – Part 2’, you can extend your knowledge and learn for example about trust in organizations as well as about mechanisms of scalable influence.


The organization is a network. If you want to understand or create social infections, network knowledge is indispensable. Whereas traditional change management models focus on the formal organization, most of the ‘real stuff’ actually happens in the Informal Organization. This is why the Informal Organization plays an essential role in Viral Change™.