Engagement: Change Management and Project Integration


Change Management and Project Plan IntegrationFocusing on the people side of change is arguably one of the most important tasks as we begin phase one of preparing for a change initiative (as seen in the slide below). In the early phases of a project, we are seeking to understand the nature of the change and preparing the organization for it. Exceptional change management works when we partner with leadership to ensure timely and consistent messaging, early and often. In this illustration, I like to think of the section between project and change management as a zipper that will pull everything together.

According to Prosci’s annual benchmarking research on change, the greatest overall contributor to project success is active and visible sponsorshipAs facilitators’ of the change, we have a unique opportunity to bring sponsors along on the journey, providing guidance and giving them tools that will help to mitigate resistance, increase

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Advanced Change Certification Opportunity in Minnesota – Feb 18-19th


Advanced_Change_Management_OpportunityI am excited about a rare opportunity I wanted to share with my readers. February 18th & 19th, the Minnesota Change Management Network (MNCMN) is hosting a once in a lifetime chance for anyone interested in the people side of change, to participate in conversations, hear and share best practices and receive training about navigating advanced change management at the enterprise level.
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MNCMN is bringing in Global Change Management Thought Leader, Tim Creasey, to host advanced change management certification workshops through Prosci®. Below are high-level details and a link for more details about the agenda and how to register. 
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February 18th & 19th Professional Development Days Agenda:
1. A conversation about the current state of Organizational Agility as Strategy (Executive Breakfast)
2. Creating a roadmap for building an organizational change management capability (Roundtable)
3. Building a business case for change management (Change Summit)
4. Building organizational agility through enterprise change management (Advanced Workshop)
5. Creating a change scorecard (Advanced Workshop)
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For more information, visit the Minnesota Change Management Network Website and select “events.”
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I hope to see you there!

Transition – Defining “Between”


Transitions - Adapting to ChangeToday’s post is about “between,” which comes in many forms. It made me consider the various ways we process and deal with change. Regardless of its application (professional, emotional or personal), the techniques for recognizing and approaching transition differs for each of us.

Sometimes it flows and feels natural, as captured in the photo for this post. A young man who is between testing for his next belt level in karate and receiving a new status because he is ready and has done the work. He has practiced learning the movement and techniques with precision and accuracy, and he knows that along with his sense of accomplishment come confidence and the long term rewards that follow.

In graduate school, we are taught that we should expect resistance when it comes to change in the workplace. The opposition is a natural part of the process during transformation and frequently rears its head when people do not understand why change is necessary, or there is not consistent support, repetition, and communication of the messaging. Read more of this post

Innovation: The Truth About Creativity


Creativity Pre Orchestra LectureIs Creativity an important component of innovation? Find out here.

I’ve been taking part two of a course based on a book called; The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. Brown has spent the past 10-15 years researching topics like courage, vulnerability, and authenticity. One of our first assignments was to think about the gifts that come to us as the result of our own creativity.

The book presents fascinating findings about creativity. Brown refers to vulnerability as the birthplace of innovation. She also makes the point that there is no such thing as people who are not creative. Instead, there are resourceful people who know how to tap into their ingenuity, while others don’t. Read more of this post

6 Successful Ways to Influence and Lead Change


6 simple ways to get buy in and influence othersMaking meaningful connections is important in leadership. We easily get caught up in “do-and-move-forward” mode which gets in the way of slowing down to value the relationships we have built and continue to grow. 

It helps to remember that people rally around causes and values that resonate with them, especially when leading through times of change. We have been trained to continuously scan internal and external environments and there is no question it takes time to figure out how to bring others with us through the journey that is change. Our role is to anticipate resistance, lead with confidence and have empathy for and redirect individuals who may get emotional. Modeling the behavior is a given and we can’t over communicate the key messaging that is required. Below are 6 simple things we can do to lead and influence people and organizations in times of transition.

1. Reciprocate – Random acts of kindness and helping others in unexpected ways sets the tone and people will respond in return.

2. Leverage scarcity – Have conversations about opportunity and consequences of not following through.
3. Authority: Lead by example – Rituals and setting goals to play important roles in bringing others along. That happens when as leaders, we engage in conversation that covers:

• The past (this is where we were, what can it teach us)
• The present (this is our current reality)
• Vision (let us create the future together)

4. Consistency in messaging – People learn in different ways using various processes. We can’t over-repeat the message
5. Practice optimism because it is contagious. Seek synergies and commonalities. What do you like about how you work well together with peers?
6. Consensus – Ask for commitment because when people make a pledge, they are more likely to follow through.

Do you have other thoughts or stories about commitments? If so, make a comment below. Thanks for visiting my blog!

6 Things You Should Know About Leading Change


There is an infinite amount of information available today which provides insights about effectively dealing with the issue of leading change. There is not any one specific way to approach the topic because there are no proven statistical formulas to provide absolute solutions. What we do see, however, are common themes that exist across the board because of different perceptions and perspectives.

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  • There is power in how we choose to approach and respond to each situation. Change can be healthy if people make a conscious decision not to stay stuck in their own paradigms.
  • Leaders and followers all have different styles that make up our culture and we need to pay attention to our definitions of diversity.
  • People will resist change because they are afraid of losing something. Understanding the source of that resistance in order to generate an effective plan of action is imperative. The highly resilient individual can be an asset for managers in the implementation of the change process.
  • Building trusting relationships and maintaining integrity is a crucial component when leading change. A good leader will cognitively think about how their actions build or break trust.
  • How and when we communicate change can have an impact on whether the message is heard and understood.
  • Those who are proactive and embrace change will be seen as individuals with added value to leaders and organizations.

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It is important to think about what the impact of implementing change can have from a macro or aggregate perspective. Getting others to focus on their own thinking process is important because there is a ripple effect that can start from the efforts of one individual and permeate to the rest of society. We live in a culture that rewards based on results and scenario thinking can be a tool to help us achieve positive outcomes. Skills alone are not enough to determine marketability in the workplace. Marketability comes from being able to experience a situation, reflect on it, learn from it and then move on.