Effective Solutions Through Partnership

Category Archives: Communications

Bizwomen Mentoring Monday Event Recap

Communications, Event Recap, Marketing, Sacramento

Photo Credit: Sacramento Business Journal

By Shyanne Long, CSM

The Bizwomen Mentoring Monday event was held at the Sacramento State University Union Ballroom this year. There are 43 mentoring events by Business Journals throughout the country. During the introduction, it was shared that the Sacramento event was the third largest in size!

The first portion of the event consisted of mixing and mingling while enjoying some light refreshments. The sponsors had booths set up and they were handing out goodies while spreading the word about their organizations. Once everyone got settled in their seats, we were welcomed by the publisher of the Sacramento Business Journal. It was funny when he pointed out that he was the only man in the room. All the women looked around the room at each other and laughed. It was refreshing to see a room full of women varying in age, race, experience, and expertise.

Tina Reynolds, the founder and president of Uptown Studios, was the keynote speaker for Mentoring Monday. She offered a great sense of humor, confidence, honesty, and some helpful advice to the group. It was inspirational to hear her story and that many years of hard work paid off for her. One thing she said that stuck with me was that “we are all mentors.” We all have something to offer and can help people grow. Mentoring doesn’t have to just be about business. A mentor can support you through tough times in life, as well.

After Tina wrapped up her speech, the speed mentoring sessions began. All the mentors sat at tables and when you wanted to talk to a specific person, you’d line up to do so. Each session was seven minutes long and when the time was up, they’d ring a big bell.

Someone who stood out for me was Christine Mahon, the Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Associated General Contractors of California. She was in Sacramento’s Top 40 Under 40. I wanted to talk to her because I am studying communications in college and wanted to gain insight from someone who does it in their job every day. I gained specific tips and advice from her that I plan on using throughout my time in college.

I’d love to attend this event again next year. If you are considering going, I’d highly recommend it. I know it can be intimidating to talk to a lot of strangers, but the mentoring is well worth it–and the seven minutes flew by while speaking with the mentors!

About the Author: After completing the internship program, Shyanne is now an Associate Business Analyst for KAI Partners. She attends Sierra College and is studying Communications. Ms. Long plans on transferring to a university after completing her units at Sierra College. Shyanne is passionate about expanding her knowledge, working collaboratively, and making powerful connections. For fun, Shyanne enjoys spending time with her family, reading, listening to podcasts, volunteering, and (attempting) to recreate recipes she finds on Pinterest.

How to Promote User Adoption Success [INFOGRAPHIC]

ADKAR, Communications, Employee Engagement, Infographic, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Project Management, Prosci, Sacramento, Training, User Adoption

At the heart of any project is people. If you want to make sure your project is implemented successfully, you should have a complimentary OCM initiative that focuses on the people (users!) and setting them up for success.

One way to do this is by following KAI Partners’ user adoption approach. Take a look at this infographic for tips to help ensure user adoption on your next project!

3 Ways to Build Trust on a Change Management Initiative

ADKAR, Best Practices, Communications, Digital Transformation, IT Modernization, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Project Management, Project Management Professional (PMP), Prosci, Sacramento

By Denise Larcade, CSM, CSPO, LSSGB, Prosci

When working for a client as an Organizational Change Management (OCM) practitioner, you sometimes also wear your Project Management hat. Your Project Management hat ensures the change is addressed from a technical aspect. Your OCM hat helps you address the impact of that technical change on people.

I recently had an opportunity to implement a new program within our internal organization. During this assignment, I assumed both the role of project manager and change manager. Wearing both hats and switching between hats proved to be important to a successful implementation.

At the end of the implementation, I took a look at the project and asked myself a few key questions to help me improve for future projects:

  1. Did I miss an opportunity to take off the Project Management hat and put on the OCM hat?
  2. Did I switch hats often enough?

I know from my change management experience that bolting change on the end of a project is not the way to handle change. I also know that these three key elements are needed to ensure success:

  1. Technical expertise
  2. Change agent implementation experience
  3. Change agent with good relationships

While all three of these are important, it’s the establishment of good relationships that can truly make or break a successful implementation. This is where taking off the Project Management hat and putting on the OCM hat is important.

Contrary to what some may think, a “good relationship” does not mean simply meeting or knowing the people you are working with. You must have trust and credibility, as well.

Here are some ways to build trust and credibility:

  1. Executive support and sponsorship – a sponsor or leader can aid in communicating and building the trust and credibility of a change agent.
  2. Foster your relationships – show competence, be genuine and sincere; be accountable, honest, and respectful.
  3. Earn it – trust and credibility are earned, so start developing the right type of relationships early in the project to allow time to earn trust.

I always welcome an opportunity to grow and learn new ways of doing my job better. My recent project surprised me in a lot of ways—most importantly, by reminding me that OCM success often means switching hats frequently to make sure all aspects of the project are run effectively.

About Denise: Denise Larcade is an Organizational Development Consultant and Merger and Acquisitions Expert. She is a Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Scrum Product Owner, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and is Prosci certified. She has over 25 years of experience in training, development, and leading companies through organizational change management. Denise has worked in corporate retail, technology, and government healthcare and most recently has experience with large-scale implementations nationwide. She currently works as an Executive Consultant with KAI Partners, Inc., providing client support to KAI Partners’ state clients. Denise grew up in the Silicon Valley and relocated to Utah and Idaho before recently returning to her native California roots.

How Agile Can Provide Value on any kind of Project

Agile, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Communications, Corporate Training, Information Technology, IT Modernization, KAI Partners, KAIP Academy, Learning, Professional Development, Project Management, Sacramento, Scrum, Training, Workforce Development

By Lucie-Anne Radimsky, CSPO

Agile knocked and I *sprinted* through the door.

I recently participated in a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) training through the KAIP Academy.

In my role as a Business Development Lead with KAI Partners, I serve as a connector between my organization’s service delivery team and public sector, non-profit, and private sector clients who need and would benefit from our services. I also help to bring individuals through our workforce development training programs.

Why is this important? Well, as you may notice, I don’t work on IT projects directly and I certainly don’t manufacture anything but opportunities. Agile isn’t necessarily a methodology that fits neatly into my role—or does it?

Prior to working with KAI Partners, my understanding of Agile was limited. I believed it to be a language or mindset that only IT departments, consultants, and the manufacturing industry would use.

Entering my CSPO training recently, I felt a mix of excitement and apprehension. Having spent the last 17 years as an entrepreneur in communications, I was used to making it up as I went along.

My apprehension quickly faded to comprehension and total awe of the simple framework that Agile provides.

As specific as some of the processes are, what I gained from this experience is a greater understanding of how to navigate a project more effectively—piece by piece, sprint by sprint.

This understanding of how to navigate projects of any kind—not just IT projects—gives me a sense of accomplishment, keeps my stakeholders and team apprised of my progress via daily updates, and allows me to deliver a valuable end-product.

As I learned in the CSPO class, Agile provides an excellent structure for developing a project/product by assisting in the following:

  1. Identifying key objectives—the why that should drive all projects.
  2. Defining clear and simple goals that are realistic.
  3. Encouraging constant interaction with the team/stakeholders to ensure progress and buy-in.
  4. Prioritizing tasks so you can focus on the essentials needed to deliver a valuable product to the stakeholder(s) in a timely fashion.

Now think about this for a minute—where wouldn’t Agile apply?

Which reminds me, I need to stop by the store to buy whole milk so my stakeholder children can eat their cereal in the morning which meets my primary objective to ensure they are healthy and well fed. But first I’ll check in with my husband to make sure he hasn’t already done so and doesn’t have any additional items to add to my shopping list.

Interested in expanding your knowledge, efficiency, and skills and learning more about Agile? Register for our next CSPO session! Click here for all our KAIP Academy Agile courses!

About the Author: Lucie-Anne has over 15 years’ experience in communications and business development in the U.S. and Europe, on behalf of start-ups and non-profits. She has signed and represented clients within the technology, energy, and telecommunications sectors to government agencies, journalists, and industry analysts throughout the world. Lucie-Anne has both American and E.U. citizenship. She is fluent in English and French. Lucie-Anne is an active community volunteer and has served on numerous non-profit boards and led alumni groups in Paris, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. She currently resides in Sacramento with her Brazilian husband and two boys.

KAI Partners Staff Profile: The Communications Consultant

Communications, Government, KAI Partners, KAI Partners Staff Profile, Learning, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Sacramento

There are many paths to success and while not everyone takes the same path, we often manage to arrive at the same destination. In our KAI Partners Staff Profile series, we share interviews and insights from some of our own employees here at KAI Partners. Our staff brings a diversity in education, professional, and life experience, all of which demonstrate that the traditional route is not necessarily the one that must be traveled in order to achieve success.

Today, we bring you the journey of Ryan Hatcher, a Communications and OCM Consultant for one of KAI Partners’ public-sector clients.

KAI Partners, Inc.: How did you get into your line of work?

Ryan: About two years ago, I submitted an application to a company I’d never heard of based on a vague job description. Through a long series of interviews, I learned a little more about the job and started to get ideas of how I could fit into the role and the company. By the end, I still didn’t totally grasp what the work would be, but I was confident that I could help.

When I started in the political world more than a decade ago, things were a bit messier. I had a professor who started me down a long path of informational interviews until I convinced someone that I could successfully manage a Republican party office in Oakland. It wasn’t what I set out to do a couple months prior, but it was an opportunity.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the years developing new business and clients—whether political, non-profit or corporate, I’ve learned that the work always follows the same path: find someone with a need, learn all about it, and come up a with a way to help.

KAI: Are there any certifications or trainings you’ve gone through that have helped in your career?

RH: Working at KAI Partners is essentially a constant training ground. I’ve learned a ton about the consulting business, state IT projects, procurement, and several other aspects of this field.

KAI: What is your favorite part about your line of work and why?

RH: Finding ways to be creative. It’s not always easy in a rigid, government environment to exercise creativity but that’s also what makes it so rewarding. Understanding how things work and discovering ways to creatively navigate complex systems can be fun.

KAI: What is one of the most common question you receive from clients and what counsel or advice do you give them?

RH: Working in communications, I get a lot of questions about how to word things or phrase news to best influence the audience. Generally, I ask them to think of the audience and try to imagine how they would understand/receive the information. Effective communication isn’t about clever wording or grand oration, it’s about connecting with people on their level and in their language.

Now that we’ve learned more about Ryan’s communications work, here’s a little more about him!

Quick Q&A with Ryan:

Daily, must-visit website: news.google.com, reddit.com/aww

Preferred genre of music or podcast to listen to: Classic rock, Broadway/Disney musicals, indie/folk, country.

Best professional advice received: “Plant what you want to harvest in 4, 7, and 10 years,” and “In life or business, relationships are the best investment you can make.”

Book you can read over and over again: The Hitchhiker’s Guide series by Douglas Adams

Most-recent binge-watched show: Better Call Saul

About Ryan: I have three hobbies: Husbanding, dog parenting, and tinkering. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen experimenting or in my garage/yard building things.

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