Membership Profile - Deirdre Brown
I am a Change Management Specialist at the University of British Columbia (UBC). I graduated from SFU and Carleton University in Communication. I have worked with a variety of organizations within the post-secondary education sector, most recently leading and contributing to major IT and business transformation initiatives supporting students, faculty and staff to adopt and sustain new processes and technologies at UBC.
How did you get into Change Management?
On reflection, I have always been a change enthusiast but my formal introduction to change management was working with an expert change colleague on a large IT project and learning first-hand how using a CM methodology (Prosci/ADKAR) supported the results of a successful implementation.
Applying a structured approach (the science of change management) with flexible thinking (the art of change management) to support the achievement of project and organizational objectives is a challenge and passion I have been pursuing ever since.
What are you working on?
I am currently balancing my time between wrapping up as CM Lead for a multi-year project to transform Graduate Admissions, with supporting a large scale UBC-wide program (the Student Academic Systems Initiative or SASI) that will transform the conventional academic interactions at every level of the University and implement a system that can support the current and future demands of learning at UBC.
Do you have any recommended change management books/resources to share?
The classics continue to be my go-to resources influencing my practice (the works of John Kotter and Daryl Conner, Influencer, Who Moved My Cheese?). When I have a few free moments I am also exploring connections and practical applications between Design Thinking and Change Management, specifically how to add design tools of storytelling and experimentation to creatively and effectively communicate and involve stakeholders in the changed future state.
For a quick read on this topic, I recommend case studies from Rotman on Design: The Best Design Thinking from Rotman Magazine, Tim Brown’s Blog, Design Thinking, and Solving Problems with Design Thinking.
How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
With spring’s recent arrival, I am taking the opportunity to explore and enjoy the Oceanside trails near my home in Richmond, spend time with family and I recently began lessons to revive a childhood passion (alas, not yet the skills) for tap dancing.