Hey, Organisational Change professionals! Are you shouting your shine to your project team?

Your change career depends on starting strong on a project team, and taking the initiative!

Source: https://undraw.co/

Does your system implementation teams view Change Management as a ‘soft’ or ‘fluffy’ skill set?

No. Yet do some people still think managing change is sending out some communications? Running a few training sessions?

Think through all the change-related services you can and do provide to project teams. These services are features ie. a characteristic. Think also about the benefit each feature provides. Know the distinction between features and benefits ¹. Dr. Jen Frahm mentions that your ability to demonstrate your value as a change professional depends where you are at. This includes your experience, background, style and clients ².

Your project team structure may influence your responsibilities as a change professional. This video from my “Change in a minute” series illustrates how.

Source: Allan Owens

We could take an example change deliverable. Let’s try: Working with Helpdesk and developing knowledge-based articles. The ‘features’: regular meetings with this important stakeholder. Also, preparing a durable artefact for this group. And the benefit? Ensuring your organisation’s helpdesk is ready for call escalation, mitigating customer risk.

Project teams would understand the above features and benefit.

How proactive are you prepared to be? Does your project team know about the full breadth of what you can provide? Your initiative influences perceptions of what problems you can solve. If you can solve bigger, gnarlier problems — your value is evident. And the people side of change offers plenty these problems!

Take the initiative with a “change menu” one-pager

Drafting a “change menu” is one way to be proactive. This single page helps you lead discussions with your team about the problems you can solve. It’s one way to illustrate the your breadth of initiatives, deliverables and interventions. There are many ways to draft a “change on a page”, to sell, explain or inform how to manage the people side of change³ ⁴.

When drafting your one-pager, aim to frame each item as a ‘benefit’. In this case, draft each benefit as a concrete outcome. Overlay each benefit across the project life cycle. You may also like to consider your approach and intrinsic motivations to delivering change ⁵. This may help you think through what areas of your change you are passionate about, and where you really want to contribute.

Go to https://www.humanfactorsadvisory.com.au/1-change-menu to access our example of a change menu one-pager.

Negotiate and influence your offerings (and relevance) throughout the project life cycle

The “Change menu” is not as effective as an ensuing conversation between you and the project team.

The value of change professionals vary amongst teams. Some project teams may still have a mandate to deliver the solution. Without it being obvious, working ‘with’ the organisation is not a priority to these teams. If this is the case, how can you effect successful change? The conversation may be the start of many, where you coach your team on doing change ‘with’, not ‘to’ the organisation.

The boundaries between change and broader project work can blur. As long as you’re aware of this, and can provide your change deliverables on time, you are increasing your value to your team.

Your menu may illustrate that you’re thinking beyond when the solution is delivered. Change professionals aim to ensure that change ‘sticks’, with new ways of working embedded into the organisation.

Your one-pager may be the beginning of your change planning

Your “change menu” can be a simple mud map. Your “menu” may form the backdrop for many discussions with your team. Each meeting helps bring others into your initial formulation of the “what”, “how” and “why” of effective change.

Your team may be critical of your menu. This is OK — here is a useful way to think about it:

Passion is good, indifference is not.

Encourage your team to write on your menu, and become actively involved in the conversation. The conversation may also help open up your team member’s pain points — what project challenges are keeping them up at night?

Recap:

A change menu is a proactive, smart way to win favour in your project team at the start of a project. What if your team critique your menu? Or add their contributions? Good — you have their attention and interest!

  1. Take the initiative with a “change menu” one-pager. Your menu and proactivity paints a strong first impression with your team. It’s also a way to promote a broad spectrum of your change services
  2. Draft your service offerings throughout the project lifecycle when preparing your “change menu”
  3. Your “change menu” may be the starting point for your change planning, when you begin on a project

Your call to action

You never get a second chance to make a great first impression. What is your change menu? In 30 to 60 minutes, what can you produce as a portable promotion for your change talents?

Our book — The Change Manager’s Companion — is available now. You can also check out our online course on Change Management.

Reference List

1. Alan Sharpe’s 20-Hour Copywriting Masterclass | Udemy. https://www.udemy.com/course/alan-sharpe-copywriting-masterclass/. Accessed October 31, 2020.

2. Frahm J. Demonstrating the value of change management — Conversations of Change. conversationsofchange.com.au. https://conversationsofchange.com.au/value-change/. Published 2019. Accessed October 31, 2020.

3. Connolly S. Sharon Connolly on LinkedIn: Change on a Page and the Customer Journey. 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/sharonconnolly_change-on-a-page-and-the-customer-journey-ugcPost-6666958918297763840-hjjo/. Accessed October 31, 2020.

4. Change on a Page | FREE TEMPLATES. https://www.changesuperhero.com.au/gallery?pgid=k9i1y5ue-ca0774d9-0074-49c0-9388-f4742e69f171. Accessed October 31, 2020.

5. Lynch D. The Change Maven of the Future. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/change-maven-future-diane-lynch/. Published 2019. Accessed October 31, 2020.

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Organisational change, behavioural design and coaching psychology insights — practical and research informed. Clever ways to put a dent in the world.

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Allan Owens

Allan Owens

Australian Change Lead: 8 years experience. Author of The Change Manager’s Companion. https://www.humanfactorsadvisory.com.au/the-change-managers-companion

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