Due to some last-minute client meetings in Los Angeles, I unfortunately missed the opening event and John Kotter’s keynote presentation at the inaugural Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) Global Conference in Orlando, Florida last week. I did however make it in time to hear Daryl Conner’s keynote presentation on Day Two. And what a great way to kickoff this first-ever international event of more than 700 change management practitioners!
In his address, Conner started by offering three gifts to his audience. I’m not sure any of us truly saw them as gifts initially. It really just seemed like three questions from a guy (supposedly an expert in the field!) who apparently didn’t want to give us the answers on this Tuesday morning. By the end of the session though, I wondered if Christmas had come early to Orlando as Conner had provoked some powerful thinking in me about the application of my work as an organizational change expert.
The video clip above highlights Conner’s premise that changes that matter make a difference in people’s lives. According to him, we’re not just implementing organizational changes. We’re actually shaping the landscape of the human experience by encouraging people to archtiect important changes in all aspects of their lives. It’s not about the project deliverables we prepare for our clients. It’s not even about the organizational changes themselves. It’s about giving people the foundation and “conscious confidence,” as Conner calls it, to design and implement change elsewhere in their lives. And in doing so, they then bring back enhanced knowledge and skills to their organizations such that the continuing cycle of organizational changes we lead evolves over time.
Conner concludes his remarks by declaring that now is the time for change management professionals to step forward. He presents it almost as a call to action for all change management practitioners to take themselves and our profession seriously and recognize the value of what we bring to the world. According to him, our work does make a difference when we lead changes that matter. Click on the link below to view Conner’s call to action. And remember, what you do does make a difference!