Anson Leung

What do you look for in a Change Management professional? Who are you looking for?

Regardless of the position, role, and purpose, they need to have foundational knowledge in change management, like a PROSCI or CCMP certifications. From that point on, the amount of experience would depend heavily on the role or need – the more complex or higher profile, the more experienced a practitioner we would want.

Then there are the intangibles that are often critical for successfully supporting change programs: the ability to truly listen and understand (it sounds easy but it is harder than most people realize); the flexibility and adaptability to bend and pivot in shifting conditions while maintaining the core change management principles; a bridge-builder who acts as the connector of people, ideas, and circumstances; and the right mindset to continuously learn and have the self-awareness to understand one’s actions and effect on situations, and their place in the bigger strategic picture.

What are some of the challenges you face in finding good people?

There are a wide range of challenges: finding people with the right mix of experience and know-how; pulling professionals from a very limited pool of people; dealing with a professional workforce that is essentially a double bell curve – a lot inexperienced and heavily experienced professionals with few professionals in the middle; looking for “diamonds in the rough” where they have the strategic outlook/mindset and yet can get dirty in the trenches to execute change activities; and attracting independent contractors to move into in-house positions.

How does your CM team do to learn from each other and collaborate to achieve great results?

Very typical ways:

  • Adhere to a general approach and methodology
  • Meet regularly
  • Have open and honest communication
  • Hold the attitude and understanding that the success of the overall practice means success for the individual
  • Share best practices, ideas, and documents/examples
  • Consult/use each other when we have questions, problems, and/or roadblocks
  • Take the time to pause and confirm if it is the agreed way forward

When would you resource a contractor instead of an employee?

Depends on the urgency, funding, duration and/or in-house capacity or capability.

How has your team positively influenced the success of the company?

The visible affect is that projects with change management support have had better go-lives, where there is also focus on sustainment in order to maintain the change and start realizing the expected benefits.

The subtler effects are that we have a seat at the table to provide consultation regarding people matters, and the decision makers are wanting to know the people factors and concerns when implementing changes.

You’ve been a Vancouver chapter member for years, what do you think the benefits of being a member are?

  • The chance to connect with other professionals in the field.
  • Continuous opportunities to learn in formal settings (e.g. webinars).
  • Learn from others – be it small changes or tweaks to what I am currently applying or major ideas to enhance the services we provide.
  • Be part of a community that understands and shares the trials, pains, and triumphs of a profession where we often work behind the scenes and a good well done means minimal noise for stakeholders and users.

Stay tuned for more events from the ACMP Vancouver Chapter on what hiring managers are looking for in a change management professional!