The Chalfont Project's Most Frequently asked questions on change management, collective leadership, organizational design and more

The Chalfont Project focuses on behaviours in all the change programmes they implement with clients.

Our behavioural change programmes delivers effective and sustainable change, whilst  also enabling the client to lead the process themselves in future situations.

The Chalfont Project has created Viral Change™ as a conceptual umbrella. It’s a specific methodology and model of ‘management of change’ that creates sustainable organizational change. Viral Change™ combines behavioural change management and the power of internal networks of influence within the organization.

You can read more about Viral Change™ in Leandro Herrero’s book Viral Change: the alternative to slow, painful and unsuccessful management of change in organizations. The book is available from Amazon UKAmazon US or through meetingminds.

You can also listen to Leandro Herrero talk about Viral Change™ in an on-demand audio-visual presentation.

Traditional change management models focus on implementing new systems and processes first. Then, they roll-out mass-communications and training programmes to convince people to switch to the new processes and systems. New behaviours are, consciously or unconsciously, ‘expected’ to appear all by themselves. Very often, the behaviours needed to make a successful switch have not been introduced and so the change fails.

With Behavioural Change, the focus is on changing the behaviours first. In this way, new processes and systems can be rolled-out ‘sustained’ by the new behaviours.

Part of the problem of change management programmes is that they focus too much of the ‘learning’, ‘communicating’ and ‘engaging’ without having specific plans on how to do it – other than massive communication programmes that intend to touch every corner of the organization.

The model is flawed. There is no change unless the change is behavioural. Behaviours can’t be taught or communicated in the traditional way. Behaviours travel and spread via imitation and social copying. Also, only a small percentage of people in the organization have the influence to spread those behaviours – and they are not in senior management.

The traditional academic and consulting model is linear: big change needs a big set of initiatives cascaded down to all via big communication programme, with emphasis on a naive rational appeal (‘B is better than A, we should go for A’) and vague conceptual black boxes such as ’employee engagement’.

We have developed and implemented many times a completely different model called Viral Change™. In this model, a small set of behaviours spread by a small number of people through their networks of influence and properly reinforced create massive behavioural tipping points with new routines and ‘cultures’ appearing and becoming stable.

Change for us is to create an internal infection of (whatever the object of the change may be) and making success ( in whatever operational definitions have been agreed) fashionable. The change may have to do more with fashions and infections than rational presentation of objectives and rational persuasion is hard to swallow when people have spent their lives supporting and trying to implement mechanistic top-down so called change programmes.

Behavioural Change is a way to create longer lasting change. We at The Chalfont Project believe there is no change unless there is behavioural change.

Behavioural Change is implementing change in organizations by focussing on changing the behaviours (needed to sustain the change) first, and not by expecting that new behaviours ‘will appear’ as a consequence of changes in processes and systems.

Disruptive Ideas is two things. It is first a usually short engagement with a client to inject disruptive thinking in the way organizations are managed and the specific applications to their company. Disruptive Ideas allows management to look for relatively small interventions or organizational changes, usually of very low cost if any at all, and create high impact. We work with clients to look at their disruptive thinking track record via an assessment of practices and then the injection of new management ideas and their implementation. This is very effective with Innovation groups, management teams, or an entire division.

Disruptive Ideas is also a Seminar that can take place in-house usually for a day or couple of days. In this seminar we use examples of these ideas and explore their use in the organization. It ends with a commitment to action. Then we can help the company in the implementation if needed, but this seminar is crafted as a distinctive one day event. It also works well as a whole day, very dynamic and practical company conference.

Frequently Asked Questions On Viral Change™

Viral Change™ is a proven methodology that works really well in real life situations. It utilizes the power of internal networks (of connection and influence) and focuses on the spread of new non-negotiable behaviours. This spread is similar to ‘an infection of ideas’ or a fashion or a fad, with the difference that here it is engineered and controlled.

Business Digest interviewed two industry leaders – Philip Watts of Pfizer and Pierre Morgon at Schering-Plough – about their successful experiences with Viral Change™ in their organizations.

You can read these interviews here:
English version
French version

The methodology behind Viral Change™ was developed by Leandro Herrero, who has personally led multiple organizational and cultural changes by applying the Viral Change™ way. It also represents how The Chalfont Project practices management of change with their clients.

You can also listen to Leandro Herrero talk about his book Viral Change: the alternative to slow, painful and unsuccessful management of change in organizations in an on-demand audio-visual presentation.

Viral Change™ is a new methodology to implement change in organizations. It utilizes the power of internal networks (of connection and influence) and focuses on the spread of new non-negotiable behaviours. This spread is similar to ‘an infection of ideas’ or a fashion or a fad, with the difference that here it is engineered and controlled.

The Viral Change™ model is explained in the book Viral Change: the alternative to slow, painful and unsuccessful management of change in organizations.

You can buy the book on Amazon UK or Amazon US,  or through meetingminds.

You can also listen to Leandro Herrero talk about Viral Change™ in an on-demand audio-visual presentation.

Traditional change management programmes rely on the concept of ‘communication to all and involvement of all people’, usually through presentations, training and other linear mechanisms to convince people they need to change from ‘A’ to ‘B’. But very often, many people are not convinced and continue to stick with ‘A’, and the change management process fails.

Viral Change™ uses a small set of non-negotiable behaviours which is spread by a small number of people through the internal social networks of influence. Viral Change™ has shown that this ‘infection’ has the power to create sustainable change faster and longer lasting.

Frequently Asked Questions on Leadership Development

The Chalfont Project offers three main Leadership interventions: 

Horizons goes deep into your organization’s needs in terms of skills, capabilities, leadership, and network management. It is a bespoke programme that combines the instructional aspects of collective leadership with hands-on practices to create a community of leaders well beyond the individual educational gain. 

The Leader with Seven Faces is a methodology used in a number of unique seminars, retreats and programmes, all aimed at improving the quality of leadership by uncovering first the true (and often hidden) values and beliefs. These propel the leader or the management team to the next level of effectiveness.

The Leader as Architect as an intervention is a mixture of awareness, coaching, and educational skilling. We will introduce you to the concept of Backstage Leadership, how it leads to collective leadership and show what you need to master it as well as explore how it can help your organization improve its culture and become more successful.

Executive and team coaching is provided through programmes tailored to the individual or the team. These programmes develop leadership and emotional intelligence capabilities, resulting in improved decision-making and performance, increased productivity and greater success for the organization.

You can find out more about The Chalfont Project’s approach to leadership here on The Chalfont Project website

The methodology used in The Leader with Seven Faces programmes is also described in the book The Leader with Seven Faces: finding your own ways to practice leadership in today’s organization.

You can buy the book through Amazon UK, Amazon US or through meetingminds .

The Chalfont Project does not stop at defining the qualities and leadership values. We go further and we develop those values into real, actionable behaviours. The result is that teams are able to move faster and become more efficient and effective; individuals are better able to lead and inspire others.

Frequently Asked Questions On Organizational Design

Yes, The Chalfont Project offers a large number of programmes particularly suitable for small and medium-sized companies, under the umbrella Organizing Growth

Through Organizational Innovation, The Chalfont Project delivers solutions and ‘structures’ that are unique and tailored to the client’s needs at that time. We do not deliver off-the-shelf solutions. Our expertise is in designing, developing and implementing novel structures that can lead to a successful organization.

We have proprietary methodology that can help the assessment of all possible options and their evaluation by multiple criteria. The methodology is based in part on decision analysis applications. We also lead the implementation of the new architecture and facilitate the necessary management of the change.

Find out more about the available services by visiting our dedicated website page.

If there were one, it would be easy to copy it or to have an off-the-shelf model implemented. Unfortunately structure and success do not correlate well! Each organization needs to explore possibilities for its own architecture and make its own judgments

Organizational Design is a broad concept that is often used to refer to the kind of structure that a given organization has or should have.

The Chalfont Project prefers to use the term ‘organizational architecture’ which for us includes the ‘structure’ (as most often represented by the organization chart), but also ‘the operating model’ (that is, processes, systems and behaviours).

‘Reboot!’ is a short intervention programme that allows management teams or functional teams in an organization to achieve a fast diagnosis of their strengths, assets and also barriers and blockers. ‘Reboot!’ methodology bypasses weeks or even months of often futile and painful ‘organizational assessment’ or cultural assessment’.

Once the diagnosis is in place, it allows the team to quickly organize a game plan. This game plan may be highly strategic or more operational at the level of the division, group or team. The final Game Plan includes a clear list of commitments to action, timelines and outcomes. The group in question is de facto rebooting itself or rebooting the entire organization. It is very powerful.

Reboot! is not a ‘training game’ but a serious approach to organizational strategy and effectiveness.

There are many but The Chalfont Project has identified a key set that we diagnose, explore, improve or simply install. We call it the ‘Project Anatomy’ (set):

  • planning
  • decision making
  • resource allocation
  • priority setting
  • accountability system
  • consolidation of data
  • reporting
  • knowledge transfer

Frequently Asked Questions On Human Collaboration

Most of The Chalfont Project’s programmes are completely tailored to the client and their needs. However, the following two represent a standard prototyope in the area of teams and external collaborations:

Team Alignment is a powerful 5-step process that increases the effectiveness of any team quickly.

Effective Partnerships is aimed at improving all human interactions to create more effective and efficient strategic alliances, partnerships or external alliances.

The Chalfont Project believes that effective collaboration provides an organization with the true competitive advantage in today’s business world. We help clients to improve their internal & external collaborations by developing tools (processes, structures, behaviours) that are most suited to each client’s individual needs.

In a simple way, there are two forms of ‘collaborative spaces’: designed and spontaneously created (or ’emergent’).

Collaboration ‘by design’ is represented mainly by teams.

Spontaneous collaboration may be ‘seen’ through the internal networks of the organization. A true collaborative space takes into account and creates a balance between these two forms.

‘Human Collaboration’ is any collaboration between any number of people. In an organization, this could be between different teams, different countries, members of the same team who are or are not in different countries, etc. Or the collaboration could be between different organizations altogether.

In the IT world and Computer Sciences, sometimes the expression ‘computer-human collaboration’ is used to refer to the power of technology linking individuals in ‘collaborative spaces’.

Our approach needs to be understood in the context of ‘the model of organization’. That is, our emphasis and (research and practice) interest in internal organizational networks. A good summary of this can be found in the book Viral Change™.

The Chalfont Project’s approach to Human Collaboration goes beyond simple role definitions or aligning people to a strategy. We use a specialised methodology to create and implement practical ways for the team to work together in an effective and efficient way , or to ‘use’ the internal networks of influence within the organization.

How The Chalfont Project engages with clients

The Chalfont Project is an organizational consulting company. We call ourselves ‘organizational architects’ and are uncompromising about this title!


  1. Define ourselves as an ongoing project, in the same way we see in our clients ‘the life of their organizations’.
  2. Are not a training company although we love teaching!
  3. Think that there is a blurred line between some of those categories, but our emphasis is on delivering professional services and solutions to our clients.

The Chalfont Project is not an HR company. Obviously, our engagements have to do with Human, Organizational and Social capital (the very nature of many HR and Organizational development functions), but our backgrounds and experience are based in behavioural sciences and in day-to-day business management.

It’s a broad spectrum and therefore a difficult question to answer! Organizational design projects (for example, pre- or post-M&A, or following organic growth, or in the context of an internal reorganization) may last from 3 months to perhaps one year. Behavioural change programmes (for example in the form of Viral Change™) follow similar patterns.

Human collaboration programmes focused on Team Alignment or Team Development may have several phases of one or two weeks each. Very often we combine Team Alignment and Development with Leadership Development. Leadership programmes are also of a broad spectrum: from an intensive, few days’ top management or Leadership retreat to a series of leadership development interventions.

The Chalfont Project has one clear core expertise: Behavioural and Social Sciences applied to organizational challenges (i.e. development, leadership, collaboration, growth, operational problems, etc.)

Two things to consider:

(1) Many people who use the ‘behavioural’ umbrella are in reality using a lot of popular psychology (2) We are real practitioners drawing from our own backgrounds, experience and academia.

There isn’t one. We do not bill per day, per hour or per number of people involved. We work on a project basis with goals and deliverables and we work towards those endpoints on a fixed cost basis. We provide an indicative number of fulltime equivalent days that we believe will be the minimum required for us to fulfill our commitments and we provide the total cost.

We work and propose your investment on the basis of delivering ‘output-value’ to you, the customer, not on the basis of the nature of the input (days, nights, bodies, etc.) that is required.

This varies. It can be the top leadership of the organization or divisional heads or others. We work closely with supporting functions such as HR or Organizational Development and are sometimes called in by these functions. However, we firmly believe that the ‘business owners’ must be the real interface of our partnership.

Yes, you can. Dr Herrero is available during the year for a limited number of closed speaking engagements to Boards, management teams or broader divisional groups. This is very often in the format of a very interactive and engaging mini-workshop.

Our expert team of senior Associates are also available for small workshops or short term interventions, covering all areas of smart organizational design, cultural change and collective leadership.

If you would like to discuss a potential engagement with The Chalfont Project, please contact us