(written by ACMP member, Alicia Girard)

Alicia Girard

In October, the Pacific Northwest (PNW) chapter of ACMP hosted their fourth annual change management symposium, Change Connect 4.

I was lucky enough to travel down to Portland to attend with two of my UBC colleagues and meet change management professionals from organizations like Nike and Alaska Airlines. The theme of the symposium was “The Art and Science of Change,” and these two concepts were very creatively incorporated throughout the two days.

In the first day, attendees were able to take advantage of their host location, the Portland Art Museum, by taking a docent-led tour on how art both reflects and instigates change within society. On the second day, Northwest Noggin, a neuroscience outreach group, came in to explain what happens in our brains as we learn new behaviours. For those attendees who dared, day 2 also presented an opportunity to hold a real human brain!

As interesting and fun as the art and sciences pieces were, the real meat of the conference was found in the breakout sessions where change management professionals shared their experiences and tools. Topics ranged from digging into WIIFM to tips on how to gamify your change.

  • My colleague and I had the opportunity to present a case study on how changing our approach to stakeholder engagement pulled our project back from the brink.
  • Hitachi Consulting presented on organizational agility, touching on how data can give the illusion of insight and the irreplaceability of interpersonal engagement.
  • PGE held a panel on their experience with Change Agent Networks, complete with change agent leads from their business units.

Overall, the symposium was a great opportunity to add some resource to the toolkit and learn what approaches other organizations are taking to change. Check out the hashtag #ChangeConnect4 on Twitter for soundbites and photos!

Change Agent Networks Panel