The change management highway offers winding roads, vistas, off-ramps and detours for new practitioners. The ride promises to be exciting, but you don't have to travel it alone. Virtual coaches can ride in the passenger seat alongside change management practitioners, providing support as you embark on your skill-enhancement journey. Although you will always select your destination and steer your own course, virtual coaching offers help when you need it, including suggestions for the best routes.
what is virtual coaching?
Prosci's Virtual Coaching for Change Practitioners helps practitioners synthesize knowledge from certification so you can take action toward achieving desired outcomes on your project. Especially helpful if you're a newer practitioner or facing a challenging project, virtual coaching gives you on-demand phone and email support from an expert Prosci Change Advisor.
Advice for Your Unique Change Journey
Whether you need coaching support or plan to go it alone, change practitioners must navigate a few curves whenever they head down a new road. As a virtual coach, I have guided many change practitioners through their skills-enhancement journeys. Here are a few words of wisdom to consider as you embark on yours:
1. Have confidence in yourself
You have likely studied the ideas others have written and shared around change management. You have learned about change tools, templates and techniques, and tested your abilities in classrooms and on the job. In addition, you bring your personal and professional experiences to the change management landscape. Trust the teachings, pull from your experiences, and use the materials available to you. Blend them them in a way that works for you and your unique organizational situation.
With time and confidence, you can grasp the concepts, apply the techniques, and engage yourself in positive change journey. Then you can start to apply them to your own pursuits.
2. Stay future focused
The professional literature describes change management as helping an organization, group, team or individual as they transition from a current state to a desired future state. Define that future state and keep it in mind constantly. Engage organizational leaders in that future-state vision, so they become active proponents of the future state and the journey it takes to achieve it. Then, employ the change management methods, tools and templates (i.e., the ADKAR Model) as vehicles to pull others toward that future state.
Stay future-focused personally, as well. Reflect on your own desired future state and the path required to achieve it. Recognize and celebrate the skills and abilities you acquire. Use them to further your own professional progress. Your knowledge and abilities serve as the fuel to power this journey.
3. Separate an initiative’s journey from your personal journey
Regardless of your commitment to an organization’s or initiative’s future state, the organizational leaders and people you support control the initiative’s direction and path to achievement. They may establish a new destination, deviate from the route, or exit the journey altogether. Their reasons may be well founded or questionable. Either way, ultimately, it's their journey.
Your personal journey is to enhance your own skills and abilities, learn from your experiences, apply solid change management techniques, and evaluate what worked and what did not. Apply these lessons learned to identify what you would do differently on the next initiative. Share what you learned with your virtual coach and other change management practitioners. Identify opportunities to enhance your skills, the group’s capabilities, and the organization’s change management maturity.
your road to change management success
Applying these pointers and keeping them in mind can keep you on track throughout your journey. Discuss them with other change practitioners and your virtual coach. Be realistic about your desired destination and the journey to get there. Adjust where and when it's appropriate. Overall, have fun and enjoy the ride!
Want to know more about virtual coaching? This infographic explains the who, what, why, when and how.
Alan Hirsch has over 25 years of experience in change management, working in both external consulting and internal leadership roles. Alan’s change management background includes leadership and support at the enterprise, team and individual levels. He has been instrumental in helping clients in areas such as enterprise transformation, building change capability, change management leadership development, and coaching and mentoring change and project management professionals.