Interview with Ignacio Martín Maruri

Updated: Oct 28, 2019

Thoughts on implementing change

Today’s blog is linked to the Podcast “Exponential Organisations” and is a loose transcript of the interview I had with Ignacio Martín Maruri. It won’t be a word-for-word transcript of the interview but will rather be me highlighting some key things that Ignacio said during the interview. I hope you enjoy it.

Introducing Ignacio

Ignacio is a leadership and organizational development consultant, working for CLA in Chile, Spain and Latin America. He is also a fulltime professor at the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez UAI in Chile, where he teaches courses in Adaptive Leadership and Organizational Transformation.

Ignacio is a member of OpenExO and is looking at assisting organisations to transform to accommodate the exponential model. Change and change management is an important element of this and this was the topic we focused on.

Ignacio, how did your Exponential Organisations journey start?

Transformation and change management

“I have been working in change for organisations for the past ten years. In Chile, and everywhere in the world, organisation change has come and clients started to ask me how to perform digital transformation. I started to research this and came across Salim Ismail’s book – ‘Exponential Organizations’. The book made a lot of sense to me. I am now pursuing the certifications offered by OpenExO ( – I have done the consultant certification and will also do the coaching certification. I am putting technology together with change management and adding the ExO Sprint model.”

How are you finding the certifications with OpenExO?

Certifications have been practical

“So far it has been great. I have just finished the consultant certification and I am really looking forward to the coaching certification which will give me more practical experience – although the consultant certification was also very practical.”

How do organisations respond to change and how does the corporate immune system work?

Change always brings a reaction

“The immune system is a great analogy. In the immune system in the body every time something new and strange is introduced the body will react to that. The analogy reminds us that there will always be a reaction when we try and pursue change. This is important because we might be so enthusiastic with our idea that we get naïve and we think that everyone will embrace our idea and that everyone will be happy about it. We need to be very strategic around this reaction and prevent what is going to happen. We need to have some perspective around what this new idea will cost. We need to be very strategic so that the idea is not killed off by the immune system.”

Observe and understand

“In my opinion there is also a downside to the analogy of the immune system. In the body there is an immune system that will guard the body against germs. This isn’t the case in an organisation where there isn’t a police force that guards against change. The people that stop change is the employees and so we need to be very strategic about who is going to react and why they are going to react. What is it that will make them stop what I am purposing. To do this we need to observe the system and try to understand the impact of what we are doing. From there we need to define what is the best strategy, implement it, learn from it and figure out how to overcome the immune system.”

What are some strategies that could be used?

Observe, understand, act and modify

“It is important to understand the potential reaction and why it will happen. We need to make a great diagnosis before we intervene. We need to really understand the customer. We need to know what their needs, dreams and fears are. When it comes to implementing change within an organisation we need to do it in the same way. First observe the system and try to understand who the people are that are involved and their potential reaction. We need to make a systemic map of them and then go into the system and see how they react. Based on the result of result we then need to change our approach until the system starts to change.”

What do you think are the main reasons that people are resistant to change?

Humanity isn’t resistant to change

“You said something that is often said that I don’t actually believe. You said that people resist change and this is something that I hear all the time. When we say that we believe that it is part of our DNA that we are resistant to change. I would say that it is actually the opposite. If we look at the world we humans are promoting change all the time. We always want change from something as basic as having different meals to eat. Our human nature actually pushes us to change. I would say that humans don’t resist change – they seek change.”

We resist change that brings loss

“This doesn’t mean that we like all change. We humans want change but only if the change makes us better off. If we see a change that brings us progress then we humans will go for it but if we see change that is bringing us loss then we will resist. We need to understand if the change we want to introduce is making better off or do the people consider that there is a risk of losing to much. There will be some people within the organisation that will think that the change is great and they will push for it. On the other side there will be people who will resist the change because it will effect them negatively. There will also be further groups of people who won’t care about the change and even another group who will be confused about the change. People will react depending on how the change will impact them. First you need to understand the impact of the change that you are proposing on the people. Who will perceive the change as a benefit and who will see it as a loss. What can I do with the people who perceive the change negatively that they can get onboard with what we are promoting otherwise they will always fight against it.”

What strategies could be used to convince people to change?

Different strategy for each group of people

“First you need to understand who are the people that are going to be against it, you then to observe these people and make a hypothesis on what will work for them. You make a map of the different grouping of people within a company and then you need to have a strategy for each group of people. What we normally do in change is we try and sell the benefits to everybody but not everybody sees the same benefits and the same loses. We need to come up with creative strategies that reduces the loss for the people that believe they are going to be negatively affected. Sometimes a company needs be accommodating to the groups effected and introduce change slower. This might not give the company the maximum benefits but it will reduce the loses of the people negatively affected.”

Have you seen situations where change has been successfully implemented?

Core inside and edge outside

“Yes absolutely. Companies are continuously changing. The success will depend on a number of factors, for example, how big the impact. This is why at OpenExO we say that if we want to do a core initiative we can do it inside an organisation but if it an edge initiative then we have to do it outside. Why? Edge is much more disruptive and there will be more loses for people within the company and so a lot of the company might be against the change.”

Link change to purpose

“If there is a big purpose that brings people together then people will accept changes that are in line with the Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP). This is because it is very fulfilling for them. Purpose will keep people together during change.”

What are your plans while you are in Spain?

“I am keen to understand the human side of change. Technology is just a means and it all comes down to people. This is why the MTP is so important. While in Spain I am getting involved in start-ups, and the digital exponential ecosystem in general, and see what changes they have from a cultural and leadership perspective. I want to learn as much as I can so that I can my learning back to Chile.”

Thank you Ignacio for being my guest in this blog and podcast. If you would like to contact Igancio then here is his Linkedin profile è To listen to the full interview subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, spotify or listen on

I hope you have enjoyed and found this blog valuable. If you would like to talk about any of these concepts further, then let’s chat. You can book me online using Calendly at, contact me through my website at or email me directly at

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