Blogposts

Originally published on Bloomberg Government

 
two US flags

Welcome to Washington, the Capital of Change

Dr. Victoria Grady and Dr. Patrick McCreesh

After four years of speculation, two years of campaigning, three debates, and more than 127 million votes, we now know that Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States.  It was a hard fought race and the Trump campaign deserves credit for the success.  Congratulations!  As the character of George Washington notes to Hamilton in the Tony-award winning musical, “Winning was easy young man, governing’s harder.”  


As of last week, the Trump administration is challenged with the excitement of creating new goals and objectives for our executive branch.  The people of the United States will have a new president and the 440 Federal Agencies listed on the Federal Register (https://www.federalregister.gov/agencies) will have new leadership. 


There will be new leaders at all levels, as political roles will change at the top and deep within agencies.  There will be new policy programs around a diverse set of topics, including defense, health care, the economy, and immigration.  There will be new capabilities or ways of business encouraged by the Trump administration such as innovation, transparency, agile development, or data-driven policy.  The new administration will leverage new technologies to bring efficiency to the work of the federal government.
Each of these new activities will create change for employees of the federal workforce.  Across all industries, we know that 60-70% percent of change efforts fail or are challenged.  So, how does the new leadership of the Trump administration bring their energy to the federal workforce and succeed?  


The key to success resides in understanding the principles of change management.  In many ways, the federal government is similar to any organization undergoing change.  Each agency is a large organization with stove pipes that impact authority, decision-making, and communication.  The executive branch has powerful external stakeholders (Congress) who, like stockholders, expect returns from their investments.  Moreover, the workforce is experiencing the same generational challenges of any industry including the new desires of an emerging workforce combined with the potential loss of institutional knowledge from a departing workforce.  


Change in the government is different.  Priorities may change on a more regular basis, as public desires and the news media can quickly impact the direction of agencies.   Leaders in the government change on a more regular basis, as the average executive in the private sector stays in position for 9 years, whereas the average federal executive maintains the position for 2 years.  Systemic challenges, such as the funding process, can shut down or delay projects for days, weeks, or years.  


The Good News.  While all of these things are organizational constraints, the good news is that people are still people.  And the role of change management is to support employees through change.  Successful change management will measurably increase the probability of the usage and adoption of the new program, capability, technology, business process or leadership strategy.  


This article is the first in a series to illustrate how change can succeed in the federal government by successfully using change management.  The audience for this series is anyone who works with leadership in and around the federal government.  Over the next 10 weeks, we will introduce a series of techniques for leaders to encourage successful adoption of new initiatives with an emphasis on the people impacted by change.  As new leaders introduce new ideas, buy new technologies, or integrate new processes—selling the idea is easy, getting it implemented is harder.  

Originally published on Bloomberg Government, November 2016

two US flags

It is time for Transition…What Now?

Dr. Victoria Grady and Dr. Patrick McCreesh

The Trump Transition Team is tasked with filling approximately 4,100 jobs in less than three months. Change is coming.  Not only will the leadership and other critical positions be filled with new faces, but the policy and process will likely change too.  Our first article highlighted what change might look like and introduced the value of using change management to improve the probability of change success.  

What is change management?  We define change management as an approach to introducing change that accentuates and underscores the impact of the people side of change.  Change management is the engagement, education, and encouragement of stakeholders throughout the change process to maximize the potential of the change effort (ROI) and the likelihood of sustained change.  

Why does it matter?  Simple: If no one uses your solution, the investment was wasted.  Leaders consistently cite that 60-70 percent of change efforts fail, but more important than citing the statistics is understanding the reasons for failure.    Over budget, missed deadlines, doesn’t meet objectives are among the most common reasons cited for change failure.  We believe many change initiatives fail because efforts fail to understand and successfully navigate the people side of change.  

A quick google search reveals hundreds of suggestions for a change management strategy.  At the core, there are five key critical components:

1.    The Plan – Change management is not a project plan. Each change will have its own project plan to make sure that the desired change is completed (e.g., the system is built or the process redesigned). Change management requires a parallel and integrated plan that supports people through the change. 


2.    Communication – There are many different stakeholders in a change process and each person experiences change differently.  The key to communication is that nobody will change if they don’t understand what the change is and why the organization is doing it.  Even if the change is happening merely for political reasons, the people need understand the change. 


3.    Training – All change, even simple process changes, requires a re-orientation.  This shift in mental model requires an investment in educational resources to ensure the people know how to make the change. 

 

4.    Performance Incentives – “What gets measured gets managed,” right?  The same is true with change management.  If an agency decides to reprioritize work in a new way; all the planning, communication and training in the world will mean nothing if there is no way to enforce the adoption. People will perform, they just need to be motivated.


5.    Leadership – Leadership/sponsorship is one of the top three factors for successful change.    This is no different in the federal government.  The common misperception in government is that most agencies are hierarchical.  Few are.  Most agencies have the same informal leadership structures found across all large bureaucratic organizations.  Identifying the right leaders at all levels of the organization and preparing them with the right tools is critical to the people side of change.

The challenge is significant. As new leaders establish their plans for the administration, they can increase the rate of adoption, and ultimate success, by developing a strong change management plan.  

Originally published on Bloomberg Government, November 2016

 
 
 
 
 
 
two US flags

Welcome to Washington, the Capital of Change

After four years of speculation, two years of campaigning, three debates, and more than 127 million votes, we now know that Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States.  It was a hard fought race and the Trump campaign deserves credit for the success.  Congratulations!  As the character of George Washington notes to Hamilton in the Tony-award winning musical, “Winning was easy young man, governing’s harder.”  


As of last week, the Trump administration is challenged with the excitement of creating new goals and objectives for our executive branch.  The people of the United States will have a new president and the 440 Federal Agencies listed on the Federal Register (https://www.federalregister.gov/agencies) will have new leadership. 


There will be new leaders at all levels, as political roles will change at the top and deep within agencies.  There will be new policy programs around a diverse set of topics, including defense, health care, the economy, and immigration.  There will be new capabilities or ways of business encouraged by the Trump administration such as innovation, transparency, agile development, or data-driven policy.  The new administration will leverage new technologies to bring efficiency to the work of the federal government.
Each of these new activities will create change for employees of the federal workforce.  Across all industries, we know that 60-70% percent of change efforts fail or are challenged.  So, how does the new leadership of the Trump administration bring their energy to the federal workforce and succeed?  


The key to success resides in understanding the principles of change management.  In many ways, the federal government is similar to any organization undergoing change.  Each agency is a large organization with stove pipes that impact authority, decision-making, and communication.  The executive branch has powerful external stakeholders (Congress) who, like stockholders, expect returns from their investments.  Moreover, the workforce is experiencing the same generational challenges of any industry including the new desires of an emerging workforce combined with the potential loss of institutional knowledge from a departing workforce.  


Change in the government is different.  Priorities may change on a more regular basis, as public desires and the news media can quickly impact the direction of agencies.   Leaders in the government change on a more regular basis, as the average executive in the private sector stays in position for 9 years, whereas the average federal executive maintains the position for 2 years.  Systemic challenges, such as the funding process, can shut down or delay projects for days, weeks, or years.  


The Good News.  While all of these things are organizational constraints, the good news is that people are still people.  And the role of change management is to support employees through change.  Successful change management will measurably increase the probability of the usage and adoption of the new program, capability, technology, business process or leadership strategy.  


This article is the first in a series to illustrate how change can succeed in the federal government by successfully using change management.  The audience for this series is anyone who works with leadership in and around the federal government.  Over the next 10 weeks, we will introduce a series of techniques for leaders to encourage successful adoption of new initiatives with an emphasis on the people impacted by change.  As new leaders introduce new ideas, buy new technologies, or integrate new processes—selling the idea is easy, getting it implemented is harder.  

Originally published on Bloomberg Government, November 2016

Dr. Victoria Grady and Dr. Patrick McCreesh

Government Building

It is time for Transition…What Now?

The Trump Transition Team is tasked with filling approximately 4,100 jobs in less than three months. Change is coming.  Not only will the leadership and other critical positions be filled with new faces, but the policy and process will likely change too.  Our first article highlighted what change might look like and introduced the value of using change management to improve the probability of change success.  

What is change management?  We define change management as an approach to introducing change that accentuates and underscores the impact of the people side of change.  Change management is the engagement, education, and encouragement of stakeholders throughout the change process to maximize the potential of the change effort (ROI) and the likelihood of sustained change.  

Why does it matter?  Simple: If no one uses your solution, the investment was wasted.  Leaders consistently cite that 60-70 percent of change efforts fail, but more important than citing the statistics is understanding the reasons for failure.    Over budget, missed deadlines, doesn’t meet objectives are among the most common reasons cited for change failure.  We believe many change initiatives fail because efforts fail to understand and successfully navigate the people side of change.  

A quick google search reveals hundreds of suggestions for a change management strategy.  At the core, there are five key critical components:

1.    The Plan – Change management is not a project plan. Each change will have its own project plan to make sure that the desired change is completed (e.g., the system is built or the process redesigned). Change management requires a parallel and integrated plan that supports people through the change. 


2.    Communication – There are many different stakeholders in a change process and each person experiences change differently.  The key to communication is that nobody will change if they don’t understand what the change is and why the organization is doing it.  Even if the change is happening merely for political reasons, the people need understand the change. 


3.    Training – All change, even simple process changes, requires a re-orientation.  This shift in mental model requires an investment in educational resources to ensure the people know how to make the change. 

 

4.    Performance Incentives – “What gets measured gets managed,” right?  The same is true with change management.  If an agency decides to reprioritize work in a new way; all the planning, communication and training in the world will mean nothing if there is no way to enforce the adoption. People will perform, they just need to be motivated.


5.    Leadership – Leadership/sponsorship is one of the top three factors for successful change.    This is no different in the federal government.  The common misperception in government is that most agencies are hierarchical.  Few are.  Most agencies have the same informal leadership structures found across all large bureaucratic organizations.  Identifying the right leaders at all levels of the organization and preparing them with the right tools is critical to the people side of change.

The challenge is significant. As new leaders establish their plans for the administration, they can increase the rate of adoption, and ultimate success, by developing a strong change management plan.  

Originally published on Bloomberg Government, November 2016

Dr. Victoria Grady and Dr. Patrick McCreesh

amy-ricardi-linkedIn-photo.jpeg

AMY RICCARDI

As a Chief People Officer, Amy works with CEOs and executive teams to increase their bottom line by identifying employee strengths, creating a culture that attracts and retains the best talent and increases employee engagement.  Amy shows her clients how to increase their bottom line revenues and profit by creating a strong human capital focused organization.

 

Amy brings more than 20 years of senior executive experience serving well-known public and private companies, federal and state governments, associations, and non-profits. Her experiences focus on strategic human capital, education and professional development, and marketing and communications.

 

Riccardi is a guest lecturer on change management at Georgetown University and George Washington University.   She is often found gaining inspiration at northern Virginia wineries where she has started her newest venture, Love VA Wine, a Virginia vineyard marketing firm. Riccardi is also moderating a Lean In circle called “Reston Rocks!” inspired by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In.”

Amy Riccardi is a widely-published author on human capital and e-Learning topics and frequent industry speaker on the workplace of the future and women in leadership. 

Dr. Victoria Grady and
Dr. Patrick McCreesh

Jinnie1.jpg

JINNIE LEE SCHMID

Jinnie is a career consultant with 20+ years experience specializing in improving individual and organizational performance through customized solutions including training, coaching, team building, and talent management.  Jinnie began her career by designing, developing, and implementing the first computer-skills training and support program for the nation's third largest bankruptcy court.  Over the years, she has facilitated change initiatives for many multinational corporate clients such as Kodak, Coca Cola, BellSouth, US Cellular, and Cingular Wireless.  Her professional presence and excellent communication skills help her interface well with executives, subject matter experts, and other key stakeholders. 

As a Change Management Consultant for Accenture she developed performance improvement programs for Bank of America, Chase Manhattan Bank, PeopleSoft, United Way, and the United States Air Force.  As Training Manager for PRGSchultz she managed the nationwide rollout of new business skills, customer service, sales, and leadership training programs. In her long-term contract with GLISI she helped the not-for-profit start-up develop all their performance programs including training, talent management, coaching, performance consulting, and program evaluation.   You can view samples of Jinnie's facilitation and training skills at www.youtube.com/user/JinnieLeeSchmid.

Jinnie is credentialed by International Coach Federation as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC).   She is also certified to offer, analyze and debrief Harrison Assessments for use in talent management and employee development.

Dr. Victoria Grady and
Dr. Patrick McCreesh

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