Effective Solutions Through Partnership

Category Archives: Prosci

Applying your Prosci Certification in the Real World

ADKAR, Best Practices, KAIP Academy, Learning, Managing/Leadership, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Prosci, Training

By Elizabeth Long

Having a certification like Prosci is valuable in terms of provide knowledge and framework around the Prosci ADKAR® Model. It’s also a great way to show your credibility as a practitioner of change management.

While the certification provides a good foundation—and is something I recommend my fellow change managers think about obtaining themselves—much of the work happens when you get onsite and observe and evaluate the organization with which you’re working.

I’ve seen my share of people come in to an organization with various degrees and certifications and while they can provide a lot of strategic or academic talk, their ability to recommend and implement the tactics is lacking.

If you simply take the methodologies and apply them in a cookie-cutter way, your chances of change management success are slim. Every organization or client is different. The people differ, the company culture differs—you need to be able to take these always-different environments and connect with people on a human level. That is when the action really happens.

So, with certification in hand, how do you integration that human connection into your work, so that people feel connected and valued (i.e., open to change?) Here are some of my best practices:

  1. Build Relationships. Determine who your primary stakeholders are and build relationships with them. Through these relationships, you’ll learn about the organization and its challenges; plus, these folks will also help guide you to determine which methodologies you should recommend to implement. By understanding what the organization needs, you can determine how to best apply the changes. Remember, nothing is cookie cutter.
  2. Be Authentic. You need to genuinely want to develop these relationships and get to know people. If you honor your word—when you say you’re going to do something, do it—then the people in the organization will see that and be more likely to take your recommendations and provide you the opportunity to do your work. Authenticity builds trust with your partners. The recommendations you make will be much more well-received if you have trust—trust that is gained by being authentic.
  3. Be a Leader.I’m currently reading the book, “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win,” by Jacko Willink and Leif Babin. Among other things, it’s about a Navy SEAL platoon and how they develop leaders within the SEALs. The ‘leader’ is a role on the team, everyone plays a critical role—it is the leader’s main job to communicate the ‘why’ of the mission and explain each person’s role and how it is critical to accomplish the mission. This helps the team develop a belief in the mission. While on a much smaller scale, change management works similarly. The most critical thing a leader can do is share the vision and the mission—the WHY we are doing something. (In Prosci terms, this is referred to as developing the desire.) Being a leader is learned from putting your certification knowledge into action in the field. Leaders make realistic assessments, acknowledge failures, take ownership of issue, and develop plans to improve. Prosci is the framework, but your experience is the engine that will drive your success on the ground as a Prosci leader!

As you begin applying your Prosci certification in your work, remember that it is a guideline—the desire to change and understanding the people you’re working with goes beyond methods and is all about understanding the real-world application.

About the Author: Elizabeth Long is a professional Organization Development Consultant and Curriculum Developer/Trainer. She received her Certification in Organizational Change Management from Prosci and is certified in e-learning development from Langevine Learning Center. Elizabeth has worked in many industries: High tech, healthcare, and state and local government. Currently, Elizabeth works as an Executive Consultant with KAI Partners, Inc. as a contractor working in a variety of California State Departments. Elizabeth has lived in Sacramento for the past 17 years and appreciates the history of Sacramento as well as its convenience to many well-known destinations like San Francisco, Tahoe, and Reno.

4 Ways to Adapt to VUCA

ADKAR, Best Practices, Communications, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Prosci, VUCA

By Debbie Blagsvedt

I recently attended an Association of Talent Management Development (ATD) seminar on Change Management Strategies, as well as a Training Magazine Network webinar called “Leading with Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in the New Workplace.” In both of these seminars, VUCA was mentioned.

VUCA—an acronym for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity—seems to accurately define the world in which we currently live and work. Working in a VUCA environment, combined with the need to quickly and efficiently adapt to rapid-fire change, is forever a part of today’s organizational culture.

A friend of mine—who has recently taken up running half marathons as a hobby—shared with me how Usain Bolt, the world-renowned Jamaican sprinter, became the 21st athlete to break the world record for the 100m sprint over the last decade. While the 100m record was broken merely four times from 1900 to 1950, the same record was shattered 17 times in the following 50 years!

You may ask, what does shattering world records have to do with VUCA in the workplace? Research shows that the time span between the launch of a new product and its extinction from the market is decreasing every year. This results in shorter lifespans of companies, a constant overhauling of ways of working, and disruption and change brought about by technology and customer demands. The effects of these changes across the globe happen at lightning speed, and all with VUCA at their core!

In the workplace, the churning of change running constantly in the forefront can result in change fatigue, employees face down, with their noses to the grindstone. Add to that the tension, fear, and a grappling within ourselves as to whether we have the competence and the confidence to take on this new world. The result is oftentimes employees waiting for the latest trend to blow over so they can get back to what they were used to doing.

Unfortunately, that approach doesn’t work well in today’s work environments. After contemplating VUCA and its relationship with change and the topic of “Leading with EQ,” here are some ideas that hopefully will help you ride the VUCA storm:

  1. Take on Volatility with Versatility
    • We all know what it’s iike to have a volatile stock market—unexpected drops and unstable economies are unsettling. Try attacking volatility with versatility—it is essential to hone your ability to be flexible and adapt to different situations. Remember Gumby, that clay figure youngsters loved to bend so the legs were on top of his head yet Gumpy could still stand on his feet? Next time you are faced with volatility, be Gumby-like!
  2. Move from Uncertainty to Understanding
    • A common reaction to uncertainty is fear, which typically leads to resistance. In today’s digital age, technology is a key defense for increasing understanding and awareness. This can be done in many ways including through shared dashboards, online collaboration tools, simple instant messages, and targeted SMS communications. Try creating online learning communities as a forum for employees to learn from each other. This can increase employees’ awareness of what is and what isn’t known which can help reduce fear and even stress.
  3. Tackle Complexity by Building Connections
    • Create direct connections among people across the organization to allow them to sidestep cumbersome hierarchal protocols. Remove barriers and create connections to foster more direct and instant connections, allowing employees to share valuable information, find answers, and get help and advice from people capable of providing the answers. Equally as important in tackling complexity is to build organizational competencies to succeed in tackling complex issues.
  4. Address Ambiguity with Leadership Agility
    • Develop a vison that accounts for VUCA. Stay focused and be a role model to employees in leading and navigating through the chaos. Build change stamina by being aware of the state of readiness of the organization at all times. Use surveys to assess change readiness and learn how it will impact employees. Put stretch goals into place, make them fun, and reward employees for tackling them.

These are just a few ways to adapt your leadership or personal development for the rollercoaster that is VUCA. How do you manage change in your workplace?

About the Author: Debbie Blagsvedt is an Organizational Change Consultant with over 25 years’ experience in change management, performance management, process improvement, training, and facilitation. She has a worked in both the private, public, and non-profit sectors in industries that include health, legal, financial, social services, high tech, and transportation. She currently works as an Organizational Change Consultant with KAI Partners on assignment with a child welfare services agency.  Debbie is passionate about collaboration among teams which she believes leads to high employee satisfaction and is equally fascinated with the rapid-fire speed of change and what it means for organizations today. Debbie grew up in the bay area but now considers Sacramento her home. She has many interests from home projects to wine tasting, volunteering, witnessing the changing face of Sacramento, and going on new adventures with her family and friends. Not to mention nightly walks and occasional mountain hikes with her dog, Emmett.

Why—and How—You Should Implement a Training Workgroup

Best Practices, Corporate Training, KAIP Academy, Learning, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Project Management, Prosci, Team Building, Train the Trainer, Training

By Elizabeth Long

Oftentimes, change management consultants enter a project and provide training resources and knowledge for their client. When the project is over, the consultants take these resources and knowledge with them and the client is left without the tools needed to replicate the work in the future.

Something I strive for as a change management leader on my projects is making sure the knowledge stays internal. I want to make sure the client knows what the consultants know, so that client has the information when the consultants leave.

After over 20 years of providing change management and training for clients across all kinds of industries, something I have found that works wonders is a Train the Trainer approach. With a Train the Trainer approach, a training workgroup is developed. This is a training implementation approach that directly engages the client. The training workgroup is important for knowledge transfer and for client ownership of the product.

Here are my recommended steps for creating the framework for a training workgroup in your organization:

  1. Assess the organizational structure and current training environment. Assess who in the organization is qualified to represent their location or department in the training workgroup. If the organization already has training staff in place, great—these folks are likely a natural fit for the training workgroup.
  2. Ask for volunteers to apply for the training workgroup. It’s important that the people identified in step 1 are interested in and want to be involved in the workgroup. After assessing the organizational structure and coming up with a list of possible participants, I recommend asking those who are qualified to officially submit their interest. You’ll be surprised how many people will want to be involved.
  3. Train the trainers. Once the training workgroup is created, members are trained to be able to deliver trainings to their peers. Here they will learn training best practices, presentation skills, and more.
  4. Deliver and check in. When the materials and trainers are ready, it’s time to deliver! Make sure the workgroup checks in regularly to assess how the training plans and resources are working, if there are areas for improvement, etc.

It can take some time, effort, and planning to get the training workgroup set up, but its benefits are numerous. Here are a few:

  1. Aligns employees across different locations. If you have an audience that’s widespread—perhaps there are satellite or virtual offices across cities or states—the representative from each office becomes that location’s training representative. This person brings back knowledge to the staff at their location. This helps create consistency by making sure employees across the organization are relayed the same information.
  2. Reduces travel/cost savings. A natural benefit of the training workgroup is that it cuts down on travel. Instead of sending an entire training team over to a satellite office—or sending the entire satellite office to headquarters for training—the location’s representative manages the training of the staff at his or her location.
  3. Empowers employees and provides them a new skill-set. We recently talked about career development and how important it is for employees to continuously learn and grow in their jobs. Allowing employees to be involved through the training workgroup can increase their skill-set and open them up to future opportunities within the organization.
  4. Knowledge stays in-house. Most importantly, the knowledge, resources, and plans stay with the organization. Once the internal training workgroup creates training plans and resources, there are now materials on-hand to use for new-hires, transfers, those promoting to new roles, etc. People are trained appropriately and are fully prepared with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed.

I have found that implementing a training workgroup can help break down the silos and bring people together. Members of training workgroups often reach out to one another directly to help problem-solve, which adds a layer of collaboration and cohesion within the organization.

Interested in creating a training workgroup or have additional questions? Email us at info@kaipartners.com or ask your question in the comments! Happy training to you!

About the Author: Elizabeth Long is a professional Organization Development Consultant and Curriculum Developer/Trainer. She received her Certification in Organizational Change Management from Prosci and is certified in e-learning development from Langevine Learning Center. Elizabeth has worked in many industries: High tech, healthcare, and state and local government. Currently, Elizabeth works as an Executive Consultant with KAI Partners, Inc. as a contractor working in a variety of California State Departments. Elizabeth has lived in Sacramento for the past 17 years and appreciates the history of Sacramento as well as its convenience to many well-known destinations like San Francisco, Tahoe, and Reno.

3 Proven Change Management Approaches to Help you Face New Challenges

ADKAR, Best Practices, Communications, Dale Carnegie, Kotter, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Prosci

By Stephen Alfano

Undoubtedly, 2017 will usher in both expected and unexpected change. If you happen to be an organizational change management (OCM) and communications consultant, like me, embracing change is both a life philosophy and a business strategy. In my world, change management is resolution and revolution all rolled up into one. For some people, though, managing change may not be so easy. When faced with impending change, the only rational way to reach your goals and objectives is to embrace that change.

To help you prepare for change both this year and in the future, I am sharing with you three proven approaches to embracing change. Any of these approaches should help you—and your clients, colleagues, and teammates—stay in sync during times of change:

The Prosci ADKAR® Model

  1. Awareness of the business reasons for change. Awareness is a goal/outcome of early communications related to organizational change.
  2. Desire to engage and participate in the change. Desire is a goal/outcome of sponsorship and resistance management.
  3. Knowledge about how to change. Knowledge is a goal/outcome of training and coaching.
  4. Ability to realize or implement the change at the required performance level. Ability is a goal/outcome of additional coaching, practice and time.
  5. Reinforcement to ensure change sticks. Reinforcement is a goal/outcome of adoption measurement, corrective actions and recognition of successful change.”

For more information on the Prosci ADKAR® Model, visit www.prosci.com

Prosci and ADKAR are trademarks of Prosci, Inc., registered in the US and other countries
© Prosci Inc. All rights reserved.

The Dale Carnegie Training Change Model

Step 1:  Establish a Motivation for Change

Step 2:  Analyze the Situation

Step 3:  Plan the Direction

Step 4:  Implement the Change

Step 5:  Review the Direction

Step 6:  Adopt or Adjust

Change Management Approach

For more information on the Dale Carnegie Training Change Model, visit http://www.dalecarnegie.com/

Copyright © 2011 Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kotter’s 8-Step Process for Leading Change

Step 1: Create a Sense of Urgency … Craft and use a significant opportunity as a means for exciting people to sign up to change their organization.

Step 2: Build a Guiding Coalition … Assemble a group with the power and energy to lead and support a collaborative change effort.

Step 3: Form a Strategic Vision and Initiatives … Shape a vision to help steer the change effort and develop strategic initiatives to achieve that vision.

Step 4: Enlist a Volunteer Army … Raise a large force of people who are ready, willing and urgent to drive change.

Step 5: Enable Action by Removing Barriers … Remove obstacles to change, change systems or structures that pose threats to the achievement of the vision.

Step 6: Generate Short-Term Wins … Consistently produce, track, evaluate, and celebrate volumes of small and large accomplishments – and correlate them to results.

Step 7: Sustain Acceleration … Use increasing credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that don’t align with the vision; hire, promote and develop employees who can implement the vision; reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes and volunteers.

Step 8: Institute Change … Articulate the connections between the new behaviors and organizational success, and develop the means to ensure leadership development and succession.

For more information on the Kotter’s 8-Step Process for Leading Change, visit http://www.kotterinternational.com/the-8-step-process-for-leading-change/

©Copyright 2017 Kotter International

In spite of the transitions and disruptions that you may face, change can be managed effectively, if not relatively painlessly. Take a look at these three change management approaches to determine which one may work best for you. And, be sure to share your favorite change management best practices in the comments!

About the Author: Stephen Alfano is an Organizational Development Consultant and Communications Expert. He has over 25 years of experience leading and managing internal and external marketing initiatives for both private and government sector clients. His résumé includes providing both new business and business process improvement services to Apple, American Express, AT&T, California Department of Transportation, Chevron, Entergy, Levi Strauss & Co., Louisiana Office of Tourism, Mattel, Microsoft, Novell, SONY, Sutter Health, and Wells Fargo. Stephen currently works as an Executive Consultant with KAI Partners, Inc., providing change management and communications expertise and support services to California State Departments and nonprofit organizations.