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In This Issue
Recognize Individual Effort
Don't Forget To Celebrate Success
In Your Shoes

Speaking Here & There!

 Because we are frequently sought out as experts, we have a full schedule of speaking engagements!




Tuesday, April 3, 2012
2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.
Kate Nelson Speaks at
The ACMP Global Conference

Las Vegas, NV


Tuesday, April 17, 2012
12:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
Kate Nelson Speaks at
The PMI Professional Development Days - Mega Event 

Cincinnati, Ohio   


Cincinnati, Ohio


Upcoming Events

Change Agent Certification

Mar 13-15, 2012  Chicago, IL

May 15-17, 2012 Cincinnati, OH

Sep 18-20, 2012 Cincinnati, OH

Oct 2-4, 2012 Chicago, IL

Dec 4-6, 2012 Cincinnati, OH

PMI Seminars World
Best Practices in Organizational Change Mgt

Apr 30-May 1, 2012 Philadelphia
Jun 20-21, 2012
 Orlando, FL
Aug 8-9, 2012 Chicago, IL

Dec 12-13, 2012 San Diego, CA 

Live Virtual Workshops
The Eight Constants of Change
     Apr 24, 2012 ,  9-12 EST
Change Mgt Best Practices
     Sep 18-21, 2012, 10-12 EST


Change Management Best Practices

Oct 18, 2012   Cincinnati, OH





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Winter 2012

kate and stacy 2010
Kate Nelson and Stacy Aaron

2012 is in full swing at this point, and we have lots to celebrate at Change Guides!  Our growth last year blew our expectations out of the water, our fabulous team is expanding, and we continue to work with amazing clients.  Celebration is a critical part of managing organizational change.  Progress can be hard to see day to day without the intentional pause to look back to see how far we've come.   In this newsletter, we have an article about celebrating organizational success, as well as one about how to recognize individual effort and how important they are to reinforcing and sustaining change. 


Change Guides is offering Live Virtual Workshops in 2012. Click here to learn more about Change Guides' 2012 Live Virtual Workshops!


Enjoy the newsletter and, as always, let us know what you think! E-mail Feedback.
All the best,
Kate and Stacy

Recognize Individual Effort

As we like to say, "organizations change when people within them change." Each person asked to use a new technology, a new process, or the new equipment eventually makes a personal choice. It comes down to each individual's willingness to try something new and commit to make it work. That group of individuals changing results in the organization collectively changing. 


Trying something new is hard. Neuroscience tells us that the brain must work much harder to do something different than something routine. So, just because we ask an employee to do something new does not mean he or she will be motivated to do so. Even for an employee committed to learning and working differently, change is hard. During times of transition, an employee may feel uncertain, anxious, excited, frustrated or all of the above.


Too often, leaders don't recognize the personal effort an employee makes to change. Leaders assume that it's the employee's job so he should just do it. But, human beings aren't machines with on, off and reset buttons.

Mastering new elements of a job is a personal success and it should be celebrated. Too often, it is not. A recent exchange reminded me of this point:

I'm not big on celebrating. If someone is doing their job right, that's what they should be doing

That was the response we received from a project sponsor. We had been discussing his role in the project, what he needed to do in the coming months to rally the troops, communicate the project's importance and keep morale up. He was onboard with everything except the celebrating part.

How an employee feels about a change in their job is greatly influenced by their environment. After working hard to adapt to new expectations, processes and systems, an employee thinks

Has anyone noticed that I worked hard to learn the new elements of my job? Did someone notice that I helped tackle some of the problems the new system caused?

When we make an extra effort, we like recognition. It's not too much to ask.

Whether it's a personal thank you, a public shout out, a pat on the back or a gift card, celebrating someone's personal effort will reinforce that committing to the change was the right thing to do. Each personal success adds to the larger organization's success. In the end, organizational change comes down to each individual.

Don't Forget To Celebrate Success


The path to growth and improvement can be long and bumpy. At times, there are detours, side-tracks, and unexpected challenges. And that long, bumpy ride can make even steady progress feel like failure. People often get tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed by the messy process of building and sustaining an organization.


During the middle of an organizational change, people are prone to feel like their effort is taking way too long to pay off. They can start to think they should just give up. They feel like they have been hitting their heads against the wall to no avail.

To gain perspective, sometimes it helps to take a break and focus on wins. Just as people should "count their blessings", organizations should count their successes. Periodically taking stock of progress and evolution will re-energize the organization and provide a baseline for measuring progress next time around.


When people within an organization stop, take a breath, and look back, they are almost always pleasantly surprised to see how far they have come. It may not be as far as they would have wanted, but it is almost always further than they thought it was before they took the time to look back and count their successes.


Taking the time to reinforce the progress that has been made and the good work that has been done is invaluable for people. Nothing motivates a team like a bit of success. A winning team is pumped and ready to go out and win again. A team that feels like it is on a losing streak has a hard time mustering the excitement to give it their all.

Employees need reinforcement and recognition of their efforts from executives as well as their direct bosses. The recognition can be informal (just stopping by someone's desk or a personal note to say "thanks"), or formal (an announcement at a large group meeting or an all out party). Either way, acknowledgement of accomplishments can make the difference between disengaged, unproductive employees and engaged, productive ones.


Sometimes, executives get so removed from the day to day hurdles that employees face that they don't even realize that a few pats on the back are in order. Managers need to give executives the heads up and prodding to show up for employees when they need to.


Managers can use scorecards, targets, and shared goals to rally the troops. The attainment of those goals serves as a great reinforcement of work well done, and provides a clear cause for recognition and celebration.


This doesn't mean leaders should completely ignore things that have not gone well. Celebrating successes and recognizing accomplishments does not mean being disingenuous. But, to be honest, there are probably plenty of forums and opportunities for leaders and their employees to talk about what is going wrong.


For just a moment, don't focus on the misses. Focus only on the hits. Leaders should tell people honestly what their intentions are... "I know it hasn't been perfect. We can talk about all of the ways we could have done better another time. For now, let's just be proud of all that we have accomplished."


Employees will appreciate it. Productivity and engagement will improve. And leaders will feel more energized too. So take time to count the successes your organization has had over the last year. And celebrate!

Change Guides Now in Brazil!

Change Management Best Practices half day workshop

March 17th, 2012 in São Paulo, Brazil


Look for our partner Change Tech in Brazil!

If you would like to find out more about our Brazil offerings

contact Armando Kokitsu (training facilitator) at


In Your Shoes 
Charlotte Fischer

Production Manager, IR Products

L3 Cincinnati Electronics


Have you approached projects differently
after the certification? If so, how?   
Yes.  I think earlier about the people (who is impacted, who needs to help drive the impact).  I consider if those people are change averse or change accept personality types.  I have changed my behavior which is starting to change my habits. 
What advice do you have for others trying to drive change?
Be patient.  Be considerate.  Be courteously persistent.  Spend time when the mind is fresh reflecting on similar past changes understanding what worked, what didn't and why; then think forward, considering your options and needed behaviors.

What one thing has helped you the most in driving change in your organization?  
Working change that other people get behind. Changing things that improve the work environment and/or improve the bottom line.   

Change Guides'
Live Virtual Training

April 24th, 2012 - 9:00 - 12:00 EST

Learn more about this class

 Change Management Best Practices


September 18-21st, 2012 - 10:00 - 12:00 EST

Learn more about this class

The Eight Constants of Change