What is DIKOR? And what is IT teaching me about raising change agents?

If you attended Lagos State Model College, Badagry in the 90s you already know what DIKOR is and for the rest of you, DIKOR is an acronym for Discipline Keeping Organisation. I don’t know if DIKOR still exists but back then DIKOR was a force to reckon with. DIKOR was a “voluntary” organization entrusted with the sole aim of keeping students in check. It was started by a very eclectic teacher and he used some then radical means. He had students informing on students and secret spies that He hand-picked. Somehow at some point He assumed that I’d make a good spy but later changed his mind when I wasn’t producing results…*smile. Some of the spies used this “power” for evil to get back at other students and just simply for malicious intent. At the beginning of a new week, Monday morning to be precise the News for the last week would be read out at the students’ assembly and at the tail end would be a list of DIKOR “offenders”. I can’t remember all the details about DIKOR but there is one particular rule that is imprinted in my brain. In my alumni then, you dare not throw trash on the floor. You just couldn’t do it. Trash must be disposed in the trash can. It sounds like simple logic, right? Wrong! Have you seen the amount of litter on our roads in Lagos? Lagos is filthy! Even my mum was affected by the DIKOR buzz. You see, my alumni is a boarding school and once we get back home on holidays a lot of the DIKOR rules had become hardcore habits. We’d go out with my mum and have some snacks rather than throw the trash out we’d throw the whole lot right in her car or in her handbag. After a while she just banned us eating stuff in the car.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Tipping Point: How little things can make a big difference, He explains that ideas, products, messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do and it doesn’t need a lot of time nor a lot of people.

The three agents of change that make epidemics spread as stated by Gladwell are The Law of the Few, The Stickiness Factor and the Power of Context.

The Law of the Few states that epidemics are driven by a handful of exceptional people. People with a rare set of social gifts; Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen.

  • The Connectors: Connectors know lots of people and across a board and diverse group.
  • The Mavens: Mavens passionately accumulate knowledge and information and share this with others. They are motivated to help and educate.
  • The Salesmen: Salesmen are the people with the skills to persuade. They are optimistic, energetic and charming

Mavens are data banks: they provide the message ,Connectors are Social glue: they spread the message and Salesmen, well they sell the message. Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen translate the message of the Innovators into something the rest of us can understand.

The Stickiness Factor:  Stickiness has to do with the content of the message. The message has to inspire as well as be memorable. It has to spur people to action.

The message should be practical and personal and careful attention should be paid to the format and structure of the material and medium. The law of stickiness states that there is a simple way to package information that under the right circumstances can make it irresistible.

The Power of Context explains that epidemics are sensitive to the conditions and circumstances.

One of the examples Mr Gladwell uses that I like very much is the “Broken Windows Theory”. A brainchild of criminologist James Q. Wilson and George Kelling. They argued that crime is the inevitable result of disorder. That if a window is broken and left unrepaired, people walking by will conclude that no one cares and no one is in charge. Soon more windows will be broken and the sense of anarchy will spread from the building to the streets sending a signal that anything goes.

Another highlight from the book was that in order to create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first.

These are all ideas that make us question the way we see certain things. If you are in a leadership position or an Innovator I honestly recommend this book.

I recently stumbled on the “Spirit of Lagos” on twitter. I don’t quite get all the parameters they have used to define what the “Spirit of Lagos” is all about but I want to know more. It is very important to define our parameters in a clear and concise manner. We need to make it understandable and relatable and the implementation has to be fast and dynamic so that it doesn’t get sluggish.

Another such “spirits” has been the spirit of agriculture i.e. the one project and Dbanj and the “Good People, Great Nation” Project. I also want to know more about this.

We don’t need much in the pursuit of change. Change can be broken down to even the basic units: change in our families, in our schools and even in our companies. We can define the parameters and make it clear and concise.

I recently noticed that Entrepreneurship, Motivational speaking, Social media and Government accountability amongst other things is really high on the agenda these days however, the change we desire may not always come from the loudest voices. Some will be followers and some will be employees and some will be listeners and some will be Students but the basics cannot change. Basics like appreciation, excellence, discipline, intergrity, courage, compassion and industry.  Basics like having dreams, valuing knowledge and information, understanding the principles of money and creative problem solving. Basics like the ability to believe in yourself and do the right thing.

Fast forward many (many) years down the line, I have two biological children and many many more children and DIKOR has shown me that

  1. Being cool is not as important as getting the job done.
  2. Change is hard but somebody has to do it.
  3. The message has to be clear and concise so that people can understand the parameters of both the action and the consequence.
  4. And everything created can be used for good and for evil. It is a matter of making the right choice daily.
tipping point

My well-worn copy of Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell




Twitter: @zansisgroove

Website: http://www.zansisgroove.wordpress.com

Email: zansisgroove@gmail.com


A little bit of my spirituality

“Babe, don’t follow them to say bad things about Nigeria.” #ThingsMyHusbandSays –Yemi Adebowale

These are dark times in our nation. You turn on the news and its one news of death and despair after another. More questions than answers and even the answers filtering in are questionable. Our value of human life is so cheap.  As much as we have the organized terrorist attacks it is almost equally balanced by one-on-one crime by citizens from the cases of jungle justice #Aluu4, police on civilian killings to gruesome ritual killings.

After the second Nyaya bombing last Friday, I struggled to get out of bed much less go to work. My thoughts were when will this end. I know it is such a struggle to feel God in times like these and religion is getting a lot of bashing but this isn’t about religion. This is about relationship.

I had started out writing a “Spiritual Essentials: Connecting with God”. A write up of sorts that showed ways to connect with God the creator. The list had loads of things on it like a buffet: Tithing, Giving offerings, Anointing with oil, Taking communion and so much more. And someday I may share the list but after Friday, I ripped the list apart and realized for me it came down to 3 basic things.

1 Faith: Irrespective of our religion or race, we have to believe that there is something better than this. That in the midst of chaos there is a solution. And believe that in my tiny corner of this earth I can make a difference. I have to believe in something bigger than myself.

2. Works: what we do speaks louder than what we say. We need to decide to do the right things. I dare to say that if you don’t pay a single kobo of tithe and offering, you will still enter the kingdom of Heaven I know theologians are about to stone me. But it is the truth. The things we do matter.

3. Quiet time: Quiet time is an essential for me because it helps to center myself, calm my mind and get clarity. It is a time to stop and breathe. My quiet time is twice a day. In the morning and at night and involves Worship, Prayer, Meditation, Journaling and Bible Study in varying doses.

In January I attended a revival with a friend. I actually requested for the opportunity. I can’t even remember why. We set off for TBS and the place was paaaacked. I mean overflowing! I left the event feeling really stupid and a little ashamed of myself. My friend looked around and said Zee, If everybody here decided to do the right thing every single day for the next one year do you know there will be a change in this nation? Because it will be contagious. Things are contagious like a virus.

So the question is how do I get on each day? How do I take the next step? Because of Hope, because of the belief that I can make a difference. That in my little corner of earth something I’m doing has a ripple effect that can reach even beyond my imagination. Even if it is just by keeping the tweet #BringOurGirlsBack trending so it doesn’t end up being another un-answered question as with a lot of things in Nigeria or with prayers for our leaders or  by raising my children up in a way to prepare them for success in our society.

So while it is allowed to criticize our leaders, we also need to look inside and see how we as individuals are also using our hands to rip the country apart little by little. So please don’t follow them to DO BAD THINGS to Nigeria.

Holla back, please let me know how you are connecting in these trying times?





I had the privilege of attending the recently concluded #NIPHEC Nigeria Photography Expo and Conference 2014 .Do you realize that photography is an amazing tool for change? Photography is not only about taking wedding pictures while there is nothing wrong with that but it can also be a power tool for change. I will be posting some of my exerts from the event soon.