Robert Stise is the lead analyst for Prosci’s ninth change management benchmarking study, happening this month. We asked him about why research is important to him personally, to Prosci, and to the change management discipline.
Why is change management important to you?
Change management is not just a field; it’s an ethic about how you treat people as individuals. Yes, it can save you money, yes, it can help you meet deadlines, but if we can create a culture where organizations recognize their employees as individuals and can do a better job of helping those individuals through times of change, I think that’s an incredible step forward.
Why have you pursued a career in research?
I was introduced to research through my graduate work in communications, and it became a personal passion of mine. Research is all about lenses. Everyone has their personal lens through which they are most adept at seeing, but with research you get to try on a bunch of difference lenses. That’s the really fun part.
What have you found most interesting about Prosci’s research?
Research is truly the foundation of everything that Prosci does and is the base of what we bring to the market. It influences literally every offering we have, from training programs to cloud-based applications. When we do a large research effort like the 2015 study, it is not only the process of collecting, analyzing, and publishing the data. There is also a parallel program around updating our entire portfolio to reflect and adapt to what we learned through the study.
What happens when something does change in the research?
Prosci is very honest about its research. If the research changes, we dig in, understand why, and share it with the world—even if that changes the direction of some of our offerings. We do not finesse research so that it is the same as what we have previously published. I’ve always been impressed with Prosci’s commitment to constructing the best possible building on the foundation of research.
Let’s talk about the 2015 study. What is new this year?
We conducted trend analysis that identified what the discipline is hungry for from a research perspective. From that, we added new topics to the 2015 study, including cultural dimensions and understanding how complementary roles, such as Human Resource Business Partners, interact with change management activities.
Tell me more about the culture section—what does it include?
For the first time, we’re building on the research of other well-respected thought leaders in cultural dimensions. We are seeking to understand the perception of change management across cultures as well as how cultural dimensions impact the application of change management.
What is the number-one reason to participate in the study?
Fields like change management don’t grow themselves. Without asking the questions and learning the lessons, we would know so little about how to drive change in the many different contexts we now understand. By participating in the study, you help us understand the field, and in turn we’re going to give you access to better tactics and practices.
About the Analyst
Robert Stise joined Prosci after completing his Masters of Arts in Communication and Human Interaction at University of Northern Colorado. He enjoys the outdoors and spends much of the summer in Rocky Mountain National Park. An avid reader, Robert spends the majority of his lunches with a book in hand. Prosci was immediately impressed by Robert’s passion for research, and he has already impacted the 2015 study with his experience in question design and question groupings.
Interview conducted and written by Susie Patterson. Edited by Alana Birky.