Change Makers GTA

Featured Change Maker: March 2018

 

This month’s Change Maker is Richard Batchelor. Below Richard shares his experience as a change management professional as well as provides his perspective on the profession.

 

From your experience and vantage point what are the core changes businesses and organizations face today?

Digital Transformation, Cultural ambiguity and disruption are all key areas that businesses are facing a new. We have moved from implementation projects towards wholescale transformations that require a new mindset in the workplace which often requires, sudden unpredictable responses.

 

What is your vision for change management as a profession?

Being the space that is recognized for knowing how change effects people, organizations, communities and more, and can work with those affected to support them through the delicately balanced pathway of change activities needed to take them not just to where they need to be but where they are engaged to want to be.

 

Without getting into details what has been your toughest change effort project to date ?

Working on the centralization of a global procurement service, from almost 100 countries to one single location, while introducing a new software system and outsourced tier 1 activity to a third party. It involved 160, 000 employees and was a challenging experience but great fun to have such a scope to work with.

 

What advice would you have for someone interested in a profession of change management?

Many people have ended up in the profession by default, but if considering it as a career move, I would recommend reviewing your own emotional intelligence, to ensure you have the emotional strength to deal with the emotion of others as change management is all about the people and how best to respond. If you are not comfortable dealing with ambiguity, people and making mistakes, its not for you!

 

Can you please give a brief narrative of your areas of specialty or strengths within the change management domain? 

I primarily focus on Strategic Change, Culture change, multinational changes and educating others in change management.

 


 

Featured Change Maker: February 2018

From your experience and vantage point what are the core change drivers businesses and organizations face today? 

Well, I have been in the Change Management field for a couple of years, but I can say that technology is the number one change driver and businesses and organizations know this, but sometimes they do little (or nothing) to prepare their employees for change,

 

What is your vision for change management as a profession? 

I would like to see companies using change management approaches on their many projects so people understand and adapt to these changes faster.

 

Without getting into details what has been your toughest change effort project to date?

There have been so many changes in my life in the past years, but the biggest change was career changing. I went to the university for Telecommunication Engineer and now I am in Change Management lol 

 

What advise would you have for someone interested in profession of change management? 

Simple, Change Management is a skill that everybody should have regardless the profession you are in because we experience changes every second. And if you like helping others, this is also a satisfying 

 

Can you please give a brief narrative of your areas of specialty or strengths within the change management domain? 

As I said I have been in the field for a couple of years now and always surrounded by Change Agents which give me so much wisdom. Thanks to that, I can say that my strengths are mainly in people’s reactions to change and change resilience. 

 


 

GTA Change Maker: January 2018 – Drew Davison

From your experience and vantage point what are the core changes businesses and organizations face today?

Organizations need to learn how to focus. There are so many distractions in the world today. A recent article in the Globe and Mail entitled “Your smartphone is making you stupid, antisocial and unhealthy. So why can’t you put it down?” cited one example: “The average American in 2007 was absorbing the equivalent of 174 newspapers a day, via sources as wide-ranging as TV, texting and the internet – five times the amount of information they took in about two decades earlier.” I’m not sure whether “2007” is a typo or the intended date but the numbers are staggering and destined to get worse. Organizations need to have absolute clarity around and commitment to their mission, vision, core values, strategies and priorities. They need to be masters of rapid response, collaboration, collective learning and risk tolerance. And, of course, change management.

 

What is your vision for change management as a profession?

The challenge is to make change management ubiquitous. One of my recent posts described the disastrous Phoenix pay project at the Federal government. Among the dumbest moves – they moved change management out of the project to a departmental responsibility. And then chaos ruled!

 

Without getting into details what has been your toughest change effort project to date ?

My professional focus is centered around my Project Pre-Check practice. It emphasizes building and maintaining the core decision-making group for a given change – the “guiding coalition” in John Kotter’s terms. It is THE key success factor. I was involved in a massive organizational transformation as project director. It was the CEO’s baby but he wouldn’t take ownership. I couldn’t change his mind so I left. The project failed. The CEO got fired. What a colossal waste of time, talent, money and opportunity.

 

What advise would you have for someone interested in profession of change management?

Join ACMP and/or CMI. Attend their meetings. Take in their webinars. Talk to practitioners. Find and leverage a CM mentor. Take related courses. Get certified. Seek assignments to gain experience and hone skills. Spread the word everywhere you go. Also consider project management training and certification. Both change and project management are essential skills for delivering change successfully.

 

Can you please give a brief narrative of your areas of specialty or strengths within the change management domain? 

As I indicated earlier, my focus is on forming and operating the “guiding coalition”. As part of that orientation, I also target strategic planning and prioritization, portfolio, program and project management and team development. These elements form the necessary framework to guide change and organizational success.

 


 

GTA Change Maker: November 2017 – Nik Beeson

From your experience and vantage point what are the core changes businesses and organizations face today?

From my experience and vantage point the core changes I’m seeing and am going to continue to see with ever greater frequency are orgs trying to adapt to what Klaus Schwab, the head of the World Economic Forum, coined the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A synchronous flood of socially significant technological breakthroughs including artificial intelligence and robotics, the Internet of Things, blockchain encryption & currency, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, energy storage, quantum computing, etc. Every one of these innovations will have enormous social implications, and will result in great disruption in many many fields of endeavour. Besides the sheer volume of change, orgs are having to adapt to an increasing pace of change. The result is a whole lot of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), an acronym originally used for the turbulence of combat situations.

Superficially the core change are specific adaptations to specific disruptions being introduced by specific technologies.  The deeper core change is to strategic structure; moving from stable predictable pyramidal hierarchies to highly agile, collaborative, and dynamic teams with multiple and/or temporal hierarchies designed to optimise VUCA situations.

 

What is your vision for change management as a profession?

Firstly, that it isn’t called ‘change management’ anymore because that’s an oxymoron.

Besides that I see it moving from a culture of laborious training programs, cookie-cutter templates and time-consuming methodologies to a coaching culture which excels at educating and eliciting the qualities of curiosity, improvisation, resilience and constant learning in leadership, teams and change agents.

 

Without getting into details what has been your toughest change effort project to date?

Me. Always.

 

What advise would you have for someone interested in the profession of change management?

Maintain an agile and open mind, your heart is as smart as your brain, listen very carefully, know yourself and keep composting your own shit (or else you project it onto your clients), and be very curious.

Also, be very curious.


Can you please give a brief narrative of your areas of specialty or strengths within the change management domain? 

My specialty is curiosity and disruption.  I have strong training in compassionate inquiry and I strongly favour human-centred design. I have 20 years in Digital Communications so plenty of experience in the adoption frictions and fractiousness that can occur where new technological/social platforms disrupt organisational structures/cultures.

 


 

GTA Change Maker: October 2017 – Gerlinde Weger

From your experience and vantage point what are the core changes businesses and organizations face today?

The core change I see in business is the pace of change.  Working as a change management lead, more and more, I need to craft strategies and plans that take ‘change saturation’ into account.  As part of change assessments, an increasingly important question is the quantity and complexity of total change that the stakeholders have underwent and is planned for them.  This requires greater collaboration amongst change management leads within the organization to harmonize our change strategies to create a consolidated change for the stakeholder.

 

What is your vision for change management as a profession?

My vision for change management is for us as a profession, to work towards increased contribution and participation with business leaders in crafting their business strategies.  The lens change management brings to the strategy table is a critical eye on what it will take for successful implementation in what time horizon to achieve the benefits the strategy is seeking to attain.  Care is needed that we, as a profession, leverage our methodology strategically to contribute to optimal business growth.

 

Without getting into details what has been your toughest change effort project to date ?

My toughest change effort project has been one where the business lead, who ‘supported’ the change management strategy did not support the change management tactics within the plans.  Putting the inherent frustration aside, their dismissal of the plans undermined the credibility of change management and the ability to effect change.

 

What advice would you have for someone interested in profession of change management?

My advice would be 3 fold: 1) determine if you wish to be a change management consultant or within an organization full-time. 2) continue to self-educate; read on change management and complimentary disciplines like neuroscience and business strategy and 3) network with like-minded individuals to create your professional community.

 

Can you please give a brief narrative of your areas of specialty or strengths within the change management domain? 

My area of strength is based on my experience:  Having worked around the world and across industries, I have a unique perspective on how people change depending on their situation.  Leveraging the learning from my first career, advertising (the industry of getting people to change), my approach to communications for change management is focused on the message of change. Working with business optimization teams, the starting point of my change management approach is to identify the benefits an initiative is to realize and have that as the scope of the change management strategy for that specific initiative.

 


 

GTA Change Maker: September 2017

Can you please give a brief narrative of your areas of specialty or strengths within the change management domain?

In order to answer this question, I would have to start by saying that I have developed a reputation as a business and human resources leader and change professional that is supported by working in complex, dynamic, team based and multi-stakeholder environments. My expertise in strategic and operational human resources, change management strategy development and implementation, delivery of large scale complex business transformation initiatives is evidenced in the utility, education and health care sectors and most recently in the consulting profession.

I have applied my project management and change management skills on a variety of transformation projects, creating strategic organizational change management plans and executing them in an operational environment.  Committed to building strong and sustainable relationships and helping clients through complex organizational change, my strengths would be in advising clients across industries in change management, communications, organizational design, leadership development, executive alignment and business strategy on technology-driven projects, post-merger integrations, and large-scale transformations (IT, Finance, HR, and Culture).   

 

From your experience and vantage point what are the core change driver’s businesses and organizations face today?

Many businesses that have tried to transform have met with serious challenges. You cannot look at or approach change as one monolithic process, where an old company becomes a new one. An organization that is changing, likely not only lacks key skills to build a new company but also might actively resist embracing the new because they want to protect the business that they have known and are loyal to.  This is where as change practitioners we can add so much value!

Businesses today are facing disruption and transformation in the form of new technologies, operating models, emerging markets, environmental issues, new services, social breakthroughs…. the list can go on and it can be specific to the industry. As businesses rethink their strategies and models, how they approach their customers and employees on engagement, they are addressing these challenges with new business models, new ways of working and creating new cultures.    

For this reason, our traditional approach to change management has to change and is changing.  It has to be faster, employee centric, and compliment a digitally enabled workforce. This means changing our change approach as businesses manage multiple and continuous change.

 

What is your vision for change management as a profession?

As I mentioned earlier, complex, unexpected and multi-faceted change is changing the way change programs are developed and the way in which employee’s experience change.  The profession of change management must engage differently with organizations, where our methodology, tools and approaches can accelerate the transformation and adoption in the business.   And while the change management methodology needs to change our skills as practitioners need to change and advance. We need the skills to manage rapid changes derived from multiple, simultaneous projects, accommodate multi-generational cultures who expect to have access to information anytime, anywhere, ability to monitor, track, analyze employee’s response to changes and leverage social and mobile technologies to involve and engage employees about the change

As both a scholar and practitioner in this area of organizational change, my scholar side brings the theoretical tools for analysis and critical reflection and my practitioner perspective brings experience and access to multiple layers of practical knowledge. The ample amount of material on organizational change theory, methodologies and practices makes it difficult to make sense of all of it and to choose only one path for the profession. There is greater value in an integration, that makes connections between various disciplines, and explores the wider relevance and usefulness of knowledge as it applies to our change management profession.

As a change professional, it is important to recognize and understand the distinguishing features of each organization, and ensure whatever change management methodology is supported, that it is flexible and can be leveraged to compliment an in house methodology that reflects the unique characteristics of an organization.

 

Without getting into details what has been your toughest change effort project to date?

Every change effort is so uniquely special with its own lessons learned.  But I would have to say the toughest one was one of my initial assignments of business transformation involving leadership, integration and innovation.  The Program (complex, multi-year, multi-disciplinary, enterprise wide) helped shape the future strategic position of the company, supporting the business infrastructure through improvements to rapidly respond to business needs, enabling rapid access to information for strategic decisions, and streamlined business operations enabling the organization to deal with growing requirements.

It was an opportunity and learning experience for myself and other team members to realize that major organizational change is a complex process influenced by the characteristics of an organization, an integrated project and change management framework, and the importance of key leadership roles throughout the change process.

 

What advice would you have for someone interested in the profession of change management?

I think you need to strategically pursue two separate journeys, one as a strong business partner/leader (in whatever is your area of interest – human resources, finance, procurement, etc.) and the other as a change management professional, to be truly successful.

Have a clear understanding of how business works. This enables change management professionals to understand how to make change happen inside an organization.

You need to be a strategic thinker and have tactical precision.

Be relentless in understanding what – makes people tick, makes people fit, makes people contribute, and makes people happy

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