ACMP Global Conference Recap – By Lisa Kempton, CCMP

May 2019

At the end of April, I had the pleasure of attending Change Management 2019, ACMP’s Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.  In addition to presenting, I soaked up new change trends, best practices and connected with many inspiring change leaders.  For fellow Vancouver Chapter members who could not attend, I wanted to share my personal highlights from the largest international gathering for the change management discipline. 

The stats:  Orlando was the largest conference yet!

With 1225 attendees, Change Management 2019 was the largest conference to date.  Change practitioners from 32 countries participated and just under half the participants were first-timers. The conference offered 55 unique concurrent sessions and 12 Master Classes for change management professionals with over 11 years of experience. 

My thrill:  Sharing the art and science of the Change Scorecard with Tim Creasey

I teamed up with Tim Creasey, Chief Innovation Officer at Prosci to deliver a pre-conference workshop to help practitioners learn and apply the Change Scorecard, a holistic, research-based tool for bringing clarity, alignment, credibility to the change management process.  Tim is a dynamic presenter and it was a thrill to share the “stage” with him.  Change practitioners are hungry to unlock the challenges of change measurement and it was rewarding to share some practical, real world experience to help them along the way. 

My session highlight:  The power of story

Amy Haworth, Chief of Staff HR at Citrix and Patti Sanchez, Chief Strategy Officer at Duarte delivered a session titled “Harness the Power of Story to Drive Change”.  Storytelling is an essential skill for change communicators because change is a journey that mirrors the structure of a classic epic tale. Pattie offered us a Torchbearers toolkit that outlined a story arch from dream, leap, flight, climb, and finally, arrive.  The concepts are derived from the book Illuminate and encourage change leaders to ignite change through speeches, stories, ceremonies and symbols.  It was a great reminder that big ideas can spark big change but only if they are communicated well. 

Making history:  The ACMP World Café

I was privileged to participate in an ACMP hosted World Café to commemorate the event that created ACMP.  Ten years ago, the 2009 World Café gathered 180 change professionals from around the globe to explore what they would value in a professional association for change management. That conversation led to the creation of ACMP.  Today, ACMP represents over 4000 members worldwide and 700 CCMP’s.  Maria Darby, CEO of ACMP and Tim Creasey, Chief Innovation Officer at Prosci paid tribute to the founding members, reflected on the progress and engaged participants in a conversation about the future of the CM discipline and ACMP as a professional home.  The newly elected ACMP Board was present and actively engaged, sharing many exciting ideas to support and grow our discipline.  It was exciting to see how far we have come in 10 years, what will our discipline look like in 2029? 

My take away:  It’s the connection with people that matters

As always, the biggest highlight of the conference for me is connecting with change leaders from across the globe to talk about common challenges and learn about the creative ways people are leading change, adapting to the challenge of agile solution design processes and unlocking change performance measurement.  I enjoyed hanging out with longtime friend Andrew Horlick and meeting a new friend, Anson Leung, Change Manager at Seaspan in North Vancouver. 

Going out on a high:  Seth Godin

The closing keynote speaker, Seth Godin captivated the audience from his first words taking us on a journey and challenged us to look at change differently in what he called the “connection economy” where value is created by social coordination, cooperation and the exchange of ideas.  He encourages all of us to not just manage but lead change.  His closing advice: do work that matters for people who care. 

Next year, the ACMP Annual Conference will be held on the west coast.  I hope to see you in Anaheim, California from May 3 – 6! 

Lisa Kempton

Lisa Kempton, CCMP

PROSCI Senior Development Partner

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