Guest post by Susan J. Thomas, Ph.D. of IBM Global Business Services
This is a question that we hear more often than we’d like. When we are building proposals for large transformations, some clients look for ways to streamline the work to cut expenses. This is particularly true for technology transformations where the focus is on the IT infrastructure with so many decisions focused on system selection and integration. A recent study by a colleague found a direct and strong relationship between the inclusion of a robust change management plan and success with the technology project.
So we did some exploring and uncovered several issues relating to managing change.
Underestimating the impact of change
Involving too many people in the change process
Lack of follow through on the change management plan
So how do we share the vision and value for change management?
Stories or brief case studies typically resonate with clients and that focus on what works and what could have been done better. And these stories show how all the pieces fit together beginning with the change impacts – a topic about which most clients have not considered.
A second approach is to provide an overview of the elements of change management and focus on the value. I’ve also tied in a discussion of change management with plans for value realization activities – with a focus on what’s required within the implementation phase for the client to gain or ‘realize’ the value of their new system.
Join MSBCoach and Susan Thomas for the upcoming webinar Leading Change to Support a Large Scale Technology Transformation on May 15, 2013. Register here: http://msbcoach.com/leading-change-to-support-a-large-scale-technology-transformation
Susan J. Thomas is Managing Consultant with IBM Business Consulting Services, Human Capital Solutions. She works with a variety of clients and companies to provide consulting services in the areas of skills competency analysis (which includes different types of questionnaires), certification test development and skills assessment, questionnaire development (both paper-based and Web-based), and training evaluation. She also assists clients with data-based decision making by helping them design question-naires and by performing statistical analysis and data mining to help them make recommendations and create action plans. Prior to joining the IBM Corporation, she was a measurement statistician and test development specialist with the Educational Testing Service. She was also an adjunct professor at Rider University, where she taught graduate courses in research methods (including questionnaire design), testing and measurement for teachers, basic statistics, and authentic assessment.
Previously, she was a faculty member at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Florida State University, where she taught courses in measurement, research design, and various areas of educational and developmental psychology. She has directed numerous funded research projects, has presented extensively at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association and the National Council for Measurement in Education, and has served as a Divisional Vice President of the American Educational Research Association. She has published several journal articles, as well as Evaluation Without Fear with coauthor Roger Kaufman, and Designing Surveys That Work!, a predecessor to the current book. She conducts workshops for teachers on topics related to assessment and has developed many training guides for these workshops. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and received her Ph.D. from Purdue University.
Does What I Do Make Me Who I am?
Here in America we define ourselves and those around us by what we do. Think about the first question we ask after introducing yourselves…. “So where do you work?” and “what do you do there?” In part, this is good small talk. We naturally ask these questions in succession. The other part has to do with sizing people up. We determine before we even get to know someone whether we think they are successful or not based on how they answer these questions. Is it any wonder why we personally define ourselves on this same measurement? This type of stereotyping begs the question many are now facing, what happens when what we “do” is done away with? What happens when companies go bankrupt, jobs are outsourced, people are downsized or laid off? How then will we define ourselves, our friends, colleagues or family members? Although what we do is obviously important we have to learn a better self-awareness of who we are being. Who we are “being” is who we are, our character, values, beliefs and passions. It is not determined by titles, salary or prestige. To discover who we really are beyond the titles we hold is a challenge. Think for a minute about who you are…. If I asked you to describe yourself could you do so without talking about what you do? The goal is that who we are being works collaboratively with what we do but it does not define us. I recently asked a client of mine while working through the “being” vs. “doing” question, “how would you respond if you lost your job for one reason or another and the only thing you could find was working at a fast food restaurant wiping down tables?” His answer was the best I have ever gotten. He said, “well I guess I would have to work hard and rise to the top in that industry!” Now that is knowing who you are being no matter what you are doing! I want to encourage you whether you are in the most secure position you have ever been in or if you are having to re-define yourself due to job loss – search yourself to know who you are being in this world. Here are some suggestions as you go through this process: Be insightfully straight with yourself. What transformations do you want? What are your personal values, passions, beliefs? Write a paper about who you are. Write a paper about who you want to be. Be in your possibilities. Dream! This can be an eye opening experience if you allow it to be. We would love to hear your feedback on this exercise and if it was beneficial…. As always if you are interested in further assistance or coaching don’t hesitate to give us a call at 804-502-4319/434-293-5758 or firstname.lastname@example.org.