free chapters from my upcoming book, Change Intelligence: Use the Power of CQ to Lead Change that Sticks just click here!
Already know you want to buy the book – click here to pre-order on Amazon (official publication date is May 14)!
Want to Experience CQ in action and hear Barbara speak? Here are some upcoming public opportunities:
EXPERIENCE PROS RADIO SHOW with hosts Angel Tuccy and Eric Reamer May 2, 11:20 a.m. Central – AM 560 KLZ in Denver, CO, 12:00 pm on AM 630 KJSL in St. Louis, MO & 92.5 FM / 850 AM WXJC in Birmingham, AL, 5:00 pm on Business 1570 AM in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
CHAMBER CHATTER RADIO with host Donna Saul May 13, Noon – 1 p.m. Central – WCHE 1520 AM www.wche1520.com online
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT CRACKER BARREL Walgreens U, Deerfield, IL May 15, 5-9 p.m. Central www.cispi.com
FULCRUM NETWORK WEBINAR May 16, Noon-1 p.m. Central
Want to connect on social media? I’d love to hear from you:
To celebrate the launch of Change Intelligence, you are invited to a FREE webinar on “Five Strategies for Leading Change in Challenging Times.” Learn actionable techniques you as a change leader can implement immediately – totally within your control.
Be sure to sign up today, since the webinar is limited to the first 100 people. Click here to register (if you’re not available at Noon CDT (1pm EDT) on May 14, it will be recorded and you will receive a link so you can watch at your convenience). Bonus for live participants – I’ll be giving away a free, signed copy of my book!
I had the honor of sharing the stage this month with a cast of amazing speakers including NeuroLeadership Institute founder David Rock, Great by Choice co-author Morten Hansen, and culture guru Dan Denison at the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) Conference in Los Angeles. Although only in its third year, the conference attracted over 850 attendees from 23 countries – an incredible global force.
I’m still pouring over everything I learned and the wonderful connections I made. Here is a somewhat random sampling of inspirational tidbits from these remarkable change leaders from around the world:
“Think globally, act locally, panic internally” (David Rock quoting another colleague) – I love this quote and I believe it so crisply captures the change leader conundrum – so many needs, so many opportunities, so much fear! So often, we focus on easing the transition of the targets of change – but what about the emotions and confusion of the guy at the front of the room leading the troops over the hill? That’s why I created the CQ System – to give leaders a framework for understanding the uncertainty and anxiety they experience along with the change their teams and employees must absorb and integrate. With David’s quote in mind, what can you do to ground yourself so that you can act in spite of the internal stress you may be facing? (For more change leader strategies, please do attend my May 14 webinar!)
“If everything is under control, you’re not going fast enough” (Dan Denison quoting racing great Mario Andretti) – what a perfect phrase to keep in mind when we’re coming up to yet another curve in the road and feel the wheels wobbling under us! Control, certainty – all illusions. Complexity, chaos – we need new mindsets and behaviors, systems and processes, to lead today. How can we cultivate a tolerance for reasonable risk-taking, comfort with decision-making in the face of ambiguity and incomplete information? How can we help clients (and ourselves) bake in time for intentional reflection, to ensure we are learning as we change and not simply rashly reacting?
“We’re moving to teach people how to fish” (Melanie Francis, who leads the Change Management Centers of Excellence at Symantec) – this was a common theme at the conference – organizations building such Change Management (CM) Centers or Communities of Practice to develop a common approach and toolkit to guide the process. And, critically, ensuring CM practitioners do not devolve into change-by-checklist template-filler-inners, but rather partners with a seat at the table throughout the transformation. Are there opportunities on your current project or in your organization to educate key stakeholders about how to conduct a leadership alignment exercise to ensure an initiative has the right sponsorship at the onset? A readiness assessment to gauge end user understand and ability to adopt to ensure solutions are on-target?
“What do you mean when you say ‘Change Management’?” (Kristin Harper, Director of IT Strategic Change at McDonald’s) – one of the ACMP’s major missions is to develop change management standards, much like the PMI did for the discipline of project management. As professionals, so often one of our first responsibilities is to enlighten our clients that “change management is more than communications and training”! Moving beyond a focus on the tools and tactics to principles and benefits when working with stakeholders goes far in making a meaningful difference and elevating the field to have the impact it can and should. That said, being asked to help create a communication plan for a change effort – even when it’s practically an afterthought and turnover is tomorrow – is still a very viable first step entry point to get the conversation started. Is there “low hanging fruit” you could pick right now, which would both add value to a current change process as well as educate others about the value of integrating CM throughout the change lifecycle in the future?
“Experience is a great but a cruel teacher – you get the test first, and the lesson later” (James Chisholm from ExperiencePoint) – This to me is both one of the most critical services we can provide our clients (whether we’re internal leaders or external consultants) as well as one of the most critical reasons why associations like ACMP are so important for professionals in any field. With all of us working on multiple projects at once, at multiple stages, with multiple stakeholders – how overwhelming, but what a gold mine of insights and learning. All lost if in our zeal to do it all we sprint from one meeting to the next, one email to the next, one crisis to the next. Powering down to power up – facilitating after action review sessions, organizing reflection roundtables, coming to conferences – enables us to capture, communicate, and capitalize on lessons learned as well as refresh our perspectives and rejuvenate our energies. Can you start where you are and organize even an informal gathering to begin to identify and share best practices? What works and what doesn’t in your environment, with your people, in your workplace to move together in positive, new directions?
Now I’m inspired to “keep the party going”! Here’s a fabulous opportunity to contribute to our community for all my fellow change leaders in the Heartland: we are launching an ACMP Chicagoland chapter, and you’re invited to join! To learn more, go to acmpglobal.org, join our LinkedIn group , or simply contact me directly.