Fall 2008
kate and stacyIt's hard to believe that we are nearing the end of 2008.  As we all reflect on what we've accomplished over the past year, it's a good time to give thanks for the human connections that bind us together, as well as make an effort to forge new connections.  
We have an article below about giving thanks, as well as an article about our Change Agent Roundtable that served as a forum for connecting change agents together.
We hope you enjoy the newsletter and let us know if there is something specific you'd like to see in future issues.  And we wish you a safe and prosperous holiday season!  E-mail feedback
Kate & Stacy
Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is the time of year we sit around the dining room table and express our thanks for family and friends. Although there is no dining room table at work, you'll find people to be thankful for there too.


During times of change, some people really step up to the challenge. They work longer hours, champion the change and wear many hats. One client I'm working with is a perfect example of someone who deserves a "thank you" from her boss. She's working double duty. She manages marketing for several product lines worth millions in sales.


She has 40 people reporting to her that she is keeping focused and motivated to reach year end goals. And she is integrally involved in planning a restructuring for 2009 that is taking a lot of thought, discussion and time. She is equally dedicated to both areas, which unfortunately, causes her to work weekends. This person deserves a thank you.


I have another client that deserves a little extra praise as well. She's jumped into the lead Change Management role for an ERP implementation with both feet. Although it's her first time doing it, she's approaching the challenge with great attitude and dedication. A little thank you now and again may help her keep that attitude and dedication during the inevitable tough challenges ahead.


And what about workers who are focused on customers, service and getting the product out the door? Certainly they deserve a "thanks" for keeping the business running during changing times, for staying focused, and for being patient during a transition. Change is not an event but occurs over time. Workers have to hang in there while management takes their time planning and making decisions.


A "thank you" doesn't cost anything. It's easy. We should do it more. So, during this time of year, think about those individuals who are contributing to current and future business success. Seek them out and take a moment to say "thanks".
Learning About Change Takes Change

Even learning how to approach organizational change can be a change for people. Our philosophy is that successful organizations drive change in a thoughtful, planned and proactive way. If you've never approached organizational change that way before and now are trying to - it's a change.


Project managers came to our recent Change Agent Roundtable to learn the systematic, process and tool based approach that Change Guides teaches. Individuals in the room had used successful strategies in the past but they were generally one-off attempts at communicating or involving stakeholders. They came recognizing that people issues can too easily fall through the cracks during change. They wanted a better way.


This roundtable group had many characteristics in common:

1. They faced similar challenges. They were trying to drive systems related changes. In several cases, they had thousands of stakeholders. For one company, stakeholder groups spanned the globe.


2. They were trying to drive the change internally. They were not relying on a team of full time consultants to work shoulder to shoulder with them on the change management work (like leadership involvement plans, stakeholder involvement strategies, key messages creation and communication planning)


3. Several felt "behind the eight ball" on dealing with change management issues since they felt more change related work and communication should have already happened.


We focused our discussion on challenges and strategies related to communication, engagement, resistance and leader sponsorship. We had a lively conversation and everyone came away with key learnings to apply to their change. The group left the roundtable optimistic, energized and with an expanded network.


Many expressed interest in attending the next roundtable to catch up with each other and their latest change challenges. Our next roundtable is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2009 (www.changeguidesllc.com/event); we hope you can join us.

Q&A: In Your Shoes
KimKimberly Skirvin, PMP
Associate Director
Project Management Office (PMO)
Kim attended the Change Agent Roundtable in May October.  
Would you recommend the Change Agent Roundtable to others? If so, why??
I highly recommend the Change Agent Roundtable because it gives you the chance to discuss your challenges with change management and to bounce ideas off of others that are impartial.  It's great to be able to chat with others that are addressing similar changes / challenges and to be able to hear back from them what worked and better yet, what didn't!  How folks react to change is pretty similar . . . the specific circumstances might be different, but the human reactions are predictable.  Also, with the 'changeguides' folks participating in the discussion, you can be sure that you'll walk away pointed in the right direction.
What advice do you have for others trying to drive change?
Why go it alone?  The Change Management methodology being taught by the Change Guides folks just makes so much sense.  If you've worked in the corporate world for a while, you've almost certainly experienced many change initiatives that didn't go so well . . . and likely many that were even abandoned.  With training and/or guidance in change management, I believe your odds of success are significantly increased. 
What one thing has helped you the most in driving change in your organization?
Identifying, recognizing and understanding the needs of your stakeholders . . . formal and informal.  If you don't address their needs, they won't meet yours (those of the project's).  This requires forethought, planning, and lots of communication.
In This Issue
Giving Thanks
Learning about change
Q&A: In Your Shoes
Change Guides News
Change Management CBT coming in early 2009!
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"We tend to judge others based on their behavior and ourselves based on our intent. In almost all situations, we would do well to recognize the possibility - even probability - of good intent in others ... sometimes despite their observable behavior"
J.M. Barrie, Scottish Author