It’s back to a Sharp Hit of Change, an 8 minute podcast with a change practitioner designed to share more on what these “change people” do in real life and what they can share on how to implement change successfully.

For more on Nick head to his LinkedIn profile

 

Nick Martin and I first worked together on a global Human Resources Information System (HRIS) implementation – Workday. Last year we shared stories from that at Agile Australia. And this year we’re off to do a Diploma in Positive Psychology together!

Today I ask him:

What are you working on at the moment?

Hey Jen, I’m working on the creation of a digital customer journey. a bit of a partnership between NAB &  REA, which will see a new end to end experience for customers by one of the digital channels – it’s pretty exciting

How does this differ from the work you have done before?

It’s really about amplifying a lot of the good stuff that’s been done and really drawing on this as a proof point for both organizations commitment to their customers experience.

How did you get into change?

I think probably like a lot of people I sort of moved into a from quasi project management role. Some very small projects to start with and on these projects I was getting people involved and taking a lot of time with the communication and the engagement aspects. And that was going quite well and at the time the guy that I was working for he actually asked me would I mind helping out and taking over some of those activities for one of my peer project managers and so I started doing that and after a while we had a performance discussion and we agreed to creating a role that focused primarily on that and I didn’t know what it was called at the time, but it was a change manager role. So I started looking after the engagement and the communication aspects and sort of understanding what impacts these projects would have on the day to day jobs of people who were going to be hit by the projects. And then it just kind of grew quite naturally from there.

You’ve gone on to get an accreditation, how do you continue to develop yourself?

I guess, I’m a big reader, so I’ve done a lot of reading and I guess following people socially that I like but I have attended a couple of different I guess courses. I particularly liked the Prosci course, which I can be quite structured at times so I took a lot of the process side of that away. And it was good to give some of the things that I felt I was naturally doing to give them a name, so I really like the Prosci one. And that sort of balanced out sort of the Prince 2 project sort of stuff that I’ve done in the past before as well.

What’s your advice to some-one wanting to get into the change management field?

I think start doing it, maybe don’t wait for the title or the position of a change manager, just start showing what you can do in that space. So start getting people involved, start thinking about what the impacts of your changes might be. Communicate and you might not be able to communicate this using this channel, but use the one that you can. Just give it a go, I think.

Tell us about a change that went really well?

Obviously the one that we gave the talk about together I’d like to bang on about that, but I might think of another one today. There was a project not long before the one that we did together. I was working with, it was the roll out of the unified digital platform within an organization and I think it was a really exciting project, it was long anticipated by people. It was received really well and I think the reason that it was received really well was, shortly after the initial release, how quickly we could respond to what the feedback was and we had an incredibly involved sponsor. And working together we could create this sort of road map of what was next and that really allowed us to put the conversation around not solving everything all at one guard but this was the first part and that would stuff to follow. And not everyone I guess believed that upfront but we actually had to do that just to show that and I think that was quite successful.

Tell us about a change that didn’t go so well

One particularly comes to mind, it was quite a big project and I think there was an element of it that was under resourced and I think the way that came through was that the change program that was defined or even the product if it was that was been developed. And the way it was been changed was very uninformed. So the change was designed without the people in mind who would be using it. And what that actually meant was the change program got rolled out with one cultural view and one country’s view sort of pushing that or enforcing that upon everyone else within the company. And I think without having that appreciation for the cultural differences between the different aspects of the business, kind of parts of it went down like a lead balloon.

What are the top three tips you can give some-one about organisational change

Firstly it would be, have a going in approach. Know how you’d like to tackle it but be ready to change when you have your first chat with someone about it. I think the second one, it’s an old one but it’s a good one and I think that’s to put yourself in the shoes of the people you’re asking to change or the people that are likely to be impacted. And understand I guess the current pain points but also really understand what that gap is for them right now and what are the motivations that can help them go through that gap. Listen to what’s been said and not been said I think. And I think to wrap up, one which really hit me a little while ago was to always remember that it’s not your change plan, it’s their’s.

And where do you top up your own knowledge

I guess, I actually go to things that are not necessarily change management sites and blogs. I’ve got quite a few things that I listen to, follow on LinkedIn but what I love to do is to see how the same thing, the same concept can have lots of different names. And I’d like to be able to draw those together. So I must say my go to is LinkedIn and looking at I guess the current thoughts and what people are working on that I just choose to follow at  LinkedIn would be my go to.

Our Agile Australia presentation

Are you a change practitioner who would like to share what they do on a #SHOC?  Let me know and I’ll be in touch.

 

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Dr Jen Frahm – Author of Conversations of Change: A guide to implementing workplace change.

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