In This Issue
Engaging Your Audience in Conversations About Change
Because I Said So
In Your Shoes

News From Change Guides!

Change Guides is happy to announce that our Change Management Certification Program has been approved as an ACMP's Qualified Education Provider™ (QEP™) Program indicating that our program aligns to ACMP's Standard for Change Management and adult education best practices.

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Spring 2015


This Spring, we are focused on Engagement.  Not the kind that leads to marriage, but the kind that leads to committed and productive people within organizations.  The term "employee engagement" has gained a lot of traction in recent years - there is even a Wikipedia page on Employee Engagement (check it out - it's pretty good)!


Our first article, Engaging Your Audience in Conversations About Change is written by one of our consultants, Annie Ayvazian.  It is about her experience at the recent  Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) Conference in Las Vegas.


Our second article, Because I Said So, touches on the need to involve people from the start and how doing that can improve productivity across the board.

We hope you like them both - as well as our spotlight on Cindy Thomas in our "In Your Shoes" section.  As always, let us know what you think and keep in touch! E-mail Feedback.


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Engaging Your Audience in Conversations About Change


As a first-generation American, language has always been an important part of my life.  English was my second of five languages -- we spoke two languages at home and I studied the remaining three at school.  Having lived in eight different cities (seven in the US), I've also been fascinated by how differently we can all speak the same language.


So naturally, when I attended the Change Management 2015 conference in Las Vegas, I noticed a recurring theme of language in the context of change management.  How you approach a conversation, as well as the language and vehicles you use, can impact the success of getting your message across to your audience.


As Nelson Mandela once said, "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."  


Understanding your audience and speaking their language will help you as you work on a specific change initiative.  For example, if the leaders and sponsors of your initiative are concerned about speed and quality, then it is important to use that same language in discussions about how change management helps achieve those objectives.    



Because I Said So


People can choose to do things, or they can be forced to do things.  In today's job market, some organizations think that people will hop in line lock step and do what they are told "because I said so."  Since jobs are scarce, some employers figure people need to step it up or risk being replaced. 


However, studies have found that people offer up only part of their effort when they are forced to do something.  When people actually choose to do something, they can more than double their productivity.    


I am not saying that everyone should be able to come to work and decide what to do and when to do it without any guidelines.  It is, for goodness sake, a job.  There are objective standards that people must meet in order to keep a job.  But it is difficult if not impossible to force people to be creative, be proactive, communicate with their peers, come up with solutions to problems, and basically care about the work.   


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In Your Shoes
Cindy Thomas

Assistant Pharmacy Training and Communications Manager

The Kroger Company
Have you approached projects differently after the certification? If so, how?   
The certification class, support materials and tools provided an 'Aaha Moment'! We all understand in theory the need to be organized in thought and deed, however how many of us truly are?  Gaining the knowledge necessary to make strategic well planned change a part of my toolbox has proven to be invaluable. After the completion of the Change Management course I decided the first change that was necessary was in ME. By changing the way I approach a project I now have the ability to work smarter not harder. By taking the time to use the tools provided I can accurately analyze and proactively manage projects I am working on, resulting in fewer missed opportunities and less rework.

What advice do you have for others trying to drive change?      


Start at the very beginning . . . the beauty of change management is that it provides a clear and strategic roadmap to LEAD change. Thoroughly complete your Stakeholder Analysis. Understanding how the change will affect ALL involved is key to any successful change. Do not make assumptions. Visit, re-analyze and revisit the Analysis again and again throughout the process. The earlier and more support and 'buy-in' you can gain from the top down the better. As you move leaders through the phases of the commitment curve, transparency will be your ally. It is much easier to manage change from the top down than to manage up!


What one thing has helped you the most in driving change in your organization?

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! There is no such thing as over communicating. The Knowledge Sharing Agreement is a useful communication tool when transferring knowledge from one individual to another in the organization. The tool is a working document that serves as a contract and outline or checklist to ensure that all areas of a specific knowledge transfer are communicated. The tool also aides in understanding the base level of competency as the Knowledge Sharing process begins, leading to measurable tracking of progress and success.