Often I get a wide-eye stare when I tell people I’m a Change Manager. Some people think I work in IT, write a bit of communications and organize some training then job done. Others think I swan around having coffee with senior managers and know a lot more than I really do. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Here are some things I’ve done this week as full-time change manager which many people probably don’t know the job involves:
- Develop a stakeholder engagement strategy to be clear on all the project stakeholders. This involves analysing who is influential, on our side, impacted and then assigned a relationship manager. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. Until I’ve spent at least three months in an organisation I’m very dependent on others’ inside organisational knowledge which can be biased.
- Feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of stakeholders we have to consult, inform etc.
- Ponder why I’m not getting invited to meet senior leaders and make a note to self to work on my influencing skills.
- Got lost in a myriad of change templates and deciding which ones are the best to use on the current project.
- Try and identify the many dependencies that impact massively on the sequence of our change management tasks.
- Ask ‘Why is the change needed?’ and ‘What is the problem we’re trying to solve?’ and try to summarise it all in project mission statement in one paragraph.
- Procrastinate about developing a communication matrix listing key messages for each project phase.
- Discuss with a colleague what key messages we need to put in a communications being sent organisation wide to build awareness – it will be easier once we’ve worked it out!
- Wrote the first draft Fact Sheet for review and agonized over the wording of the introductory paragraph.
- Attend a weekly team coffee catch-up on each person’s achievements and challenges and brainstorm solutions if required. To be honest more time is spent chatting about our lives and being generally social – team building!
- Attend a Program Leadership Meeting to discuss the next project phase and how to prepare for it.
- Read a paper on the latest research into change and neuroplasticity and how the hormones involved – dopamine, adrenaline and cortisol – are influenced by the level of challenge and what people tell themselves. This is the fun stuff! I’m currently feeling high levels of cortisol – the stress hormone!
It’s a fun challenging job being a Change Manager but anyone who tells you it’s easy is pulling your leg!