It was a full day of learning and sharing expertise at the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) Conference! No matter for how many years or in how many industries one has led change initiatives, we can always learn from each other. Today was a great reminder of that! I have tried to capture a few treasures from the jam packed sessions.

Speakers from Cisco, IKEA and Qantas shared lessons learned from their respective change journeys. Key takeaways included:

  • Adoption and business results are inextricably linked
  • Don't have technology for technology's sake; likewise you don't collaborate for collaboration's sake. Collaboration (and supporting technologies) needs to provide value.
  • Creating a pro-change culture by rewarding true continuous improvement and renewal is key for OCM.
  • Big goals can drive even bigger results.
  • Leverage what you already do well- focus on the positive and enhance it.
  • Package your case for change management in terms the audience can understand.
  • Remember the importance of partnering with the PMs (after you have given them a crash course on OCM and scared them!) to assess the change impact of the project.
  • No matter how much success you have in one department or team within an organization- the change journey starts over each time you engage with a new department or team.
  • Look at all the dimensions upon which change is occurring including physical, technical and cultural.
  • Use scales and heat maps to help visualize the current and future state with leaders across the org and identify the key gaps
  • Find opportunities in challenges- for example if you don't have a large enough dedicated change team, the positive is that the business needs to own and execute more of the change which could enable a more sustainable change.

Making the Case for Change Management by Geri Johnson and Mary Boscacci from Sallie Mae was my favorite presentation. Their presentation was fantastic in its simplicity: they used a discipline with which the executives were familiar (project management) in order to compare and quantify the impact of change management.

  • Projects that can be viewed as Project Management successes can be Change Management disasters and viewed retrospectively as "painful". Conversely projects that can be painful from a PM point of view can be hugely successful from an OCM and business perspective
  • They scored two projects against PM and OCM scorecards. They scored the projects based on the PM discipline first because the IT department was more familiar with it (using PMI).
  • They then scored each project against the OCM discipline using Prosci's change management scorecard.
  • The successful but painful project did conduct some change management activities where there is a natural overlap of the PM and OCM disciplines. But based on the results, these activities were not enough to create a success and full adoption was delayed.
  • The project which the business remembered as a great success scored low on the PM scorecard but very high on the OCM scorecard.
  • Use of the two scorecards was an easy visual that enabled executives to identify with and demonstrate the difference in results in a format that they could easily understand.
  • Additionally the speakers reminded the audience (and their executives) of an important element in all change initiatives. Don't forget the X factor (exponential): once you have one painful project implementation with a group, the next time you need to implement a change with that constituency, you are behind the eight ball because they have already built up resistance