As everyone returns to work after the summer break, many in my network are asking me for advice on applying for new jobs. As the volume of these requests is so high this year I thought you might like to hear my advice on Change Management best practice. I keep things simple and suggest two simple things that candidates can do to improve their chances of success:
- Get qualified in change management best practice
- Have something current and relevant to say about your area of expertise
Get a change management qualification
The easiest candidate to offer a role to is the most qualified candidate.
As I lead large-scale change initiatives I want to know that those joining the team have a strong knowledge of how humans react to change and how to help them implement change.
I don’t want to employ someone who knows less than the current team because that just dilutes the total team capability.
If I’m hiring an external candidate they are probably joining a team of internal staff who are working on the change because of their organisational knowledge. They will have experience of current ways of working and will be vital in carrying out impact assessments.
However. They are unlikely to be change management professionals so to increase their understanding via knowledge transfer I want to hire an expert. I want my expert to have experience of successful implementation of change but I want “Book learning” and not just “street smarts”.
This is because knowledge of theories, models and techniques means they can create a repeatable structure and set of processes that all in the team can use to manage the change. This increases our chance of success because we are managing change by design and not just by the luck if past experience.
Go to conferences
I’m speaking at www.projchallenge.com on October 10th and I am always pleased to attend this free conference. There are lots of speakers explaining best practice, sharing case studies and discussing what they think the most pressing issues and challenges are.
I find listening to these speakers is always thought provoking. Some inspire me to take action, some give me useful ideas for how I might tackle issues I am facing on my own transformation programmes. Their ideas give me a chance to “take the temperature” of my profession and consider where I think things are heading.
I always walk away with new ideas, I make new contacts and I identify things I want to follow up on. Since March, when I attended the spring www.projchallenge.com I have made 3 very useful new contacts, acquired a new client and taken am studying for a new qualification in big data.
This activity has all come from following up on the themes I was introduced to by the other speakers.
Crucially, if you are thinking of applying for a new role, events like www.projchallenge.com make sure that you have something interesting to say. Whatever role in an am hiring for, I want evidence that the candidate is interested in and motivated by their specialist.
Attending these events gives you something to share and it can help you think up questions for the firm’s you are applying to. Hearing best practice and case studies means you have good questions to ask about the organisation benchmarks itself. These are impressive questions because it shows you are interested in joining a quality firm.
Of course, if you don’t attend expos and industry events you won’t have the background knowledge to ask these questions (or understand the answers!). I look forward to seeing you in October!