How do we not only get our thinking and engagement happening inwards, but more importantly, outwards?
Change practitioners are GREAT at discussing change management with other change managers – but what we, and our profession, suffer from (in my opinion) is the inability to discuss our professional practice with people who AREN’T change practitioners – including those whom we would seek contracts or ongoing work from. The initial challenge lies in just helping them understand how we want to help them achieve their goal, beyond some more ‘broadcast communication’ artefacts. Hell’s Bells, we still have problems defining what it is we do (in a consistent way that is universally understood) to those who would seek our services and support – and are not helped by our complementary disciplines of Project Management and ICT Architecture who describe us as either ‘communicators’ or ‘change control’ respectively. We are are more accurately described as multidisciplinary behavioural scientists, ‘experience’ engineers and architects – again, something that we find hard to agree on; the ‘alchemy’ and ‘Druidism’ continues to perpetuate itself, and we remain considered as ‘magicians’ and ‘quacks’ rather than deeply scientific practitioners.
Even the development of a body of knowledge for change management is almost counter-intuitive, if that body of knowledge focuses on process and documentation – where these are the refuge (and sadly, where the cash-cow) of the change-assassin, or change-by-documentation, snake oil salesperson.
Are we a victim of our own self-fulling prophesy as high-functioning documentarians and project-artifact-creators, or do we seek a higher altruism in the realm of ‘community management‘ (online or interpersonal) to participate and facilitate the rise of ‘strategic customer service’ as the new science and discipline of change management?
Is the co-creation and collaborative working with stakeholders helping to understand and remove blockers to something that is desired, of which models, tools and approaches are a small part, and in my experience, using yesterday’s thinking to solve today’s problems, rather than using tomorrow’s thinking to solve tomorrow’s problems?
My suggestion is: ‘social first’! In the age of many-to-one (or Web3.0), broadcast techniques, publishing and content management, and rehashed old tools, blind-sided by Intellectual Property rights cant be the solution, otherwise, we would be out of a job, because ‘the problem’ would already be ‘solved’. So, lets look at why it isnt solved (and lets face it, every report or survey lately shows how many projects or changes fail because of blah, blah, blah…).
- Change Management is Dead: It’s About Change Leadership! (changingwinds.wordpress.com)
- New Study Explores Why Change Management Fails – And How To (Perhaps) Succeed (forbes.com)
Skin in the game? You will often hear that permanent staff feel that contractors or consultants have lower care-factor – I have commented about this very thing before. You will find that those who want to get repeat work have very high care factor, and LOTS of skin in the game – you are only remembered for the last thing to did – so you better make sure it was good!