‘Project’ and ‘Change’ Management: An Evolving Marriage

Does the need for a ‘change’ result in a ‘project’? or does a ‘project’ result in ‘change’? An interesting “chicken or egg”question! Writing in The Next Evolution:Unifying Project and Change Management, Thomas Luke Jarocki says that regardless of how these questions are answered, there are three “givens” regarding these two:

1. Any ‘change’ initiative, however it is defined and regardless of its scope, requires a planned approach/structure [project management].

2. Any ‘project’ will result in ‘changes’ that will impact employees, the way the work gets done and, potentially, organizational structure.

3. Effectively managing both the ‘project’ and resulting ‘changes’ will result in long lasting organizational benefits.

Why does project management fail? Because the “people and cultural” side of change the project produces has not been addressed.  It is apparent that a sound ‘project management’ plan must include change management principles and strategies. To use an analogy, think of a car: it is the mechanical/technical piece [the ‘project’] that has been developed to move an organization forward and the human behind the wheel is the one who will determine the car’s direction… how the driver reacts to the car will dictate whether or not the car moves forward[change management focus].

Prosci Change Management methodology captures this relationship very effectively:

change-management

The Future of Conversation

I had the unique opportunity to hear Brian David Johnson, Futurist for Intel, last evening and I am thrilled that I did!  The key question he addressed was “How do we change the future?”  The answer he provided was both optimistic and affirming: We change the future by changing the story we tell ourselves about the future we will live in.  The future is indeed made by US– and we need to create a vision for ourselves of what that future will look like: what do we want and what do we want to avoid?

He went on to say that creating that vision requires listening and conversation: learning from others, particularly the younger generation. This point underscores the critical importance of effective conversation skills.

I invite you to join me Sept 4-5 for Fierce Conversations: a foundational, hands one workshop that will introduce you to transformational ideas and principles that will shift your basic understanding of conversations and the power they hold in leadership, relationships and results. This workshop is based on the work of Susan Scott’s breakthrough book: Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life, One Conversation at a Time.

Contact me for further information!  Are you ready to “get Fierce”???