Six Steps for Successful Change Management

Swirl by Edward Musiak Medium FlickrManaging change at the organizational level can be incredibly challenging—almost like maneuvering an ocean liner through a series of tight turns, narrow channels, and often stormy weather. But there are key steps you can take as a leader in your organization or team to make sure change management is steered straight, as opposed to floundering.

Recently, the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) changed its name to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), as announced by CEO Tony Bingham at their International Conference and Exposition. Reactions to the name change ranged from excitement, cynical, to disappointment. While the debate goes on of whether or not changing the name to the Association for Talent Development appropriately represents the work of the members, one thing is clear. For a major change like this—an identity change, no less—the change process could have been handled better.

While the intent on the name change was good, the process was not. Bingham told the live audience that it took ASTD two and a half year to decide on a new name. However, most members didn’t know that a change was coming and felt disregarded or disrespected when the news was announced.

Consulting with your constituents before implementing major change is a critical step in any change management program. When members of your organization feel they are heard, they are more likely to support your change effort. This cardinal rule applies in membership organizations such as ATD, as well as in companies where employees are members of the organization or business.

Here are six key steps you can take to ensure a successful change process: Read more…

ASTD Name Change Focuses on Talent Development—And You Should, Too


I’m very happy and excited to see that the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) is changing its name to The Association for Talent Development (ATD). This news was announced yesterday by Tony Bingham, president and CEO of ASTD, at the International Conference and Exposition in Washington DC.

Talent development more accurately reflects what many learning and development professionals already do to help their organization succeed. Companies that want to thrive in the fast-changing environment need to invest in developing their people, as development opportunities and career advancement are two key drivers of employee engagement—which is positively linked with better business performance.

This is a great time for managers and employees to have a conversation about career development opportunities. Career development is a two-way street. Both employees and managers are accountable for ensuring that employee development is not overlooked at work. Read more…

90 Days Is Not EnoughTo Engage Your New Hires

The top five human capital trends in North America, according to Deloitte’s latest research, are leadership, retention and engagement, workforce capability, talent acquisition and access, and learning and development.

Recruiting the right talent and engaging and retaining your employees are critical if your company is going to stay ahead in 2014. It’s imperative that managers and HR do everything they can to understand what motivates and energizes new hires. With this understanding, and the right engagement strategies, managers and leaders can invite new employees to co-create a positive and successful workplace where they can bloom.

Click on my SlideShare below for some thoughts on taking the pulse of new employees:

If your company is growing and you’re hiring, don’t overlook the importance of maintaining regular check-ins and conversations with your new employees. Avoid the Risk Zone and you’ll get more ROI from your recruiting efforts and employees who will go the distance with your company.

Share your thoughts and comments below or contact us for more information. Follow me @Novacrea.

The Right Questions + Diverse Perspective = Creative Engagement Solutions

Last week, I served on the judging panel of the first-ever employee engagement hackathon, Hack the Experience. It was an exciting and fun event, and I learned some valuable lessons about how groups can generate creative solutions to improve employee engagement in a short amount of time.

Nearly 100 communications, human resources, training and development, OD and CSR professionals attended the one-day hackathon held in San Francisco. The participants were grouped into 12 teams. Each team worked on a specific challenge of the employee lifecycle–from recruiting, onboarding, and communications to career development and succession planning.

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How to Get Creative About Improving the Employee Engagement Experience

What will happen when a diverse group of professionals from HR, training, communications, CSR, and academia come together and work on a set of talent management challenges?

Some creative sparks will fly, I’m sure. And creative ideas and solutions will follow.

The first-ever employee engagement hackathon, Hack The Experience, will take place on Friday, February 28, 2014 at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. At this day-long hackathon, participants will work in interdisciplinary teams generating innovative ideas to solve employee engagement challenges. At the end of the day, participants will present solutions to the rest of the audience and a panel of judges.
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Employee Survey in a Time Warp? Four Talent Management Trends for 2014

Time WarpJanuary has arrived. As we start the new year, it’s essential to review your employee survey questions and see if they provide the insights you need as the talent management landscape changes.

These emerging trends in talent management have an impact on your employee survey design. As my favorite interior designer, Candice Olson, said after she updated a den that was trapped in the 80s to a more contemporary design: “All of us need some updating sometimes”.
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What Improv Teaches Us About Employee Engagement

Photo by Pi Wen Looi
Photo by Pi Wen Looi

This past Sunday we went to see our friend, Linda, perform in Stories in Motion directed by Nina Wise. The performers told their stories with hand gestures and body movements. They also synchronized their movements, made sounds, and sang. As in any improv performance, they built on each other’s stories.

One woman told a story about her dad who, when he was on duty in the Philippines, wrote a love letter to her mom. It was to be read only after her dad passed away, but her mom never read it because she passed before her dad. Guided by her hand gestures and narratives, I could “see” her living room where clutters of magazines, letters, and newspapers were. My heart stopped a beat when she finally pinned the letter, written on onion-skin-thin papers, to her bulletin board.

Another performer told us how he tried to meditate, but his mind kept wondering off to his unfinished work. His story was juxtaposed with another performer’s story about how she found out, while vacationing in Germany, that she was pregnant. These were two very different stories, but they were beautifully interwoven together and became a story that could stand on its own. In the finale, all the performers repeated a phrase or a word from one of the performances of the evening, unified by synchronized gestures and repetitions of some phrases. The finale looked amazingly integrated and well rehearsed, although everything was improvised!

Listening to your partners, building on each other’s stories using “yes, and” instead of “yes, but,” and going with the flow are basic principles of improv. These principles are equally valuable in our everyday interactions with employees and peers.

Listen to your partners.
How often do we really listen to the people we are talking with? Many of us are guilty of checking our computer for incoming emails or mindlessly surfing the net while having a conversation with a colleague. To really listen is to show respect for your coworkers and employees. Respect is the foundation for all relationships and for employee engagement.

Build on each other’s stories. Make it a commitment in 2014 to say “yes, and” instead of “yes, but.” You’ll be amazed how much more cooperative your team members are, and how many more creative ideas you can generate from your meetings. “Yes, but” is limiting. “Yes, and” is freeing. Which option would you choose?

Go with the flow. Have you ever experienced a conversation or a meeting where one of the participants kept stating his or her points regardless of what is being discussed? How did you feel? Nothing kills a great discussion more than when someone is not staying on point with the discussion and tries to reiterate his/her own agenda. Go with the flow means staying in the present and practicing giving the benefit of the doubt. While there is still a place for playing devil’s advocate, too many devil’s advocates will kill creative ideas prematurely.

At the dawn of 2014, let’s build on each other’s ideas, practice active listening, and celebrate each other’s successes.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Employee Engagement, 2014: Gamification, Social Data, and (the Right) Surveys

If you’re wondering how games, social data, employee surveys like our New Hire Survey, and many more employee engagement trends can transform your workforce in 2014, then first, imagine this scenario:

You’re stuck at Level 29 of Candy Crush and you’re out of lives. You check your Facebook feeds and see that your friend, Mary, generously gave three lives to all her friends. You claim the free lives from Mary, thank her, and continue to happily crush more candies.
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Simple Things You Can Do To Improve Employee Productivity

Recently, I updated my website and switched my hosting company. What seemed like a pretty harmless operation turned out to be quite a headache. Along the way, we encountered slow load times and unfriendly plug-ins. I was not able to use my email for a day and a half.

All these issues are taken care of now. My new website loads fast. It’s mobile friendly. I’m back on my email.

But that one and a half day of interruptions was a big hit to my productivity.
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