On Friday, May 15, 2015, executive directors, staff and board members of Boys & Girls Clubs from around the country converged on the Hilton Chicago for an invigorating national conference to equip them with new perspectives, tools and ideas for bringing positive change to their communities and to the lives of the children they help. I was honored and humbled to be able to present a session on change management for these inspirational change leaders.
The Outcome of Successful Change
The positive change the Clubs work to bring about in the lives of children and in our communities is inspiring. I asked the audience to identify the impacts if they can successfully implement change in their Clubs. The word cloud below shows the importance of what is on the line if they can create more successful internal change.
The title of my talk, delivered twice to over 300 Club leaders and board members, was “Increasing Your Leadership Impact Through Change Management.” My basic premise was this – to enable kids to reach their own “Great Futures,” your Club must be able to implement internal change effectively (i.e. reach its own Great Future), which ultimately depends on catalyzing the individual transitions of your employees and members (i.e. helping them reach their own Great Futures).
This cascading of individual transition of success > Club initiative success > kids/community success – to me – really is the heart and essence of change management, both in the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) and in corporate settings. The value of doing change management effectively is delivering positive change results for the organization (and community) through the realization of expected benefits on projects and initiatives by supporting and equipping individuals to be successful in their own personal journeys.
Equipping the Organization to Succeed
To equip the BGCA leaders to drive more successful change, I presented our “4 Change Catalyzing Questions,” along with additional tips and suggestions for putting each question into action. The “4 Change Catalyzing Questions” are:
Why are we changing? Identify the organizational benefits and project objectives of your change effort. Most efforts do okay at one or the other, but rarely at both. The data is crystal clear, however, that the better we define what we want to achieve the more likely we are to meet our objectives in times of change.
Who has to do things differently? Change is ultimately an individual phenomenon. Supporting and equipping individuals to be successful in their own change journeys is how organizational change actually takes place. Defining change at the individual, granular level is key.
How much depends on individual transitions? For our most important and strategic changes, the “adoption contribution” to project value is very large. The people side of change is not the “soft” side, but rather how we capture the people-dependent portion of results and outcomes.
What can we do to drive and support individual transitions? This is where I position change management, not as something that is optional, but as a solution to the reality that much of what we expect in times of change depends on individual transitions. For this audience, I shared the Prosci® ADKAR® Model and the key roles of sponsors as ways to drive and support individual transitions.
I’ve shared the “4 Change Catalyzing Questions” in a number of conference presentations recently, including keynotes at Gartner BPM Summits, with a consortium of utilities working to embrace customer experience, and at a council of executives leading new product and service development with their organizations. In each case, I feel that asking and answering these “4 Change Catalyzing Questions” is positioning projects and initiatives to be more successful.
However, Friday, May 15 in Chicago was different for me. I truly believe that these four questions – when brought to life by the leaders of Boys & Girls Clubs across the country – can support positive change in the world around us. And that, my friends, is incredibly moving.
Tim Creasey is Prosci’s Chief Innovation Officer and a globally recognized leader in change management. His work forms the foundation of the largest body of knowledge in the world on managing the people side of change to deliver organizational results.