Tag Archives: change

Weeks 9 and 10: what’s really important

Two Tuesday mornings ago. Raining like crazy, I bailed out of our Tuesday morning walk. Took some time to look realistically at my goals, deadlines, aspirations, and interests, versus the number of hours in a day and my energy levels. And I made some decisions.

May 1 is a deadline for a writing award I want to enter. I am on a couple of volunteer committees. I have a demanding job. I am determined to get back running again and regain most of the former activity level after knee surgery a year ago.

The only way I can get this all accomplished is if I get out my inner laser pointer and focus, focus, focus.

So, two weeks ago I managed to get Chapter One of my novel re-jigged while getting my homework done in prep for the Blue Ribbon panel for judging IABC Gold Quill Award entries. Then, a group of us, all Accredited Business Communicators, met last Saturday to team up and complete the judging process. It was a lot of fun, a lot of work, and a lot of learning.

This past Tuesday: woke up near Whistler in a retreat facility. with a tension headache, but also a thirst for learning. I took the intensive three-day Prosci Change Management Certification course last week in the midst of back problems. This (trying something new, then the back problems) is a natural progression for me.

Change Management–

Communications and marketing is all about persuading people to change their minds about something, and take action. Increasingly, professional communicators are asked to help out with organizational transformations: changes in technology, processes, leadership, etc.

We’re sometimes told: “If we could only communicate this better to staff, they wouldn’t be so resistant. We need you, communications people, to deliver us some results in this area!” My answer to this has always been: “I can’t create change on behalf of leadership unless the leadership is seen to be behind this change 100%. Leadership has to walk the talk.”

Now I have the data and training to back that up. Change management, I had intuitively known, is more than communications. It is a systematic process that has to be supported from the top and reinforced all the way through an organization. Change is supported through communications, but it is done by individuals.

Regarding the back problems – the more stressed I get, the more a hunch up my back and get headaches. I’ve come to learn that doesn’t mean the stress I’m under is bad, it means I’m under some kind of transformation myself. It means I’m learning; it’s a signal I need to pay attention to the change I’m experiencing at that moment. The best way to deal with change (and the stress that comes with it) is to find ways to relax into it, stretch often, keep hydrated, and rest when necessary.

And find a good physiotherapist.

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Ken and I at ETUG Fall 2014

Goodbye BCcampus, Hello Vancouver Community College

Today is officially my last day at BCcampus, and my last day as an official resident of Victoria. I’ll be making sure everything’s all tied in a bow and handed off today, and dropping off my computer and keys to the Victoria office in the afternoon.
Ken and I at ETUG Fall 2014

Best thing about working at BCcampus? I met my partner at a work conference. Here we are at the 2014 Fall ETUG workshop.

When David Porter and Paul Stacey hired me almost five years ago, they assured me I would find a home in an innovative, nimble and forward-thinking organization. They were right. BCcampus stoked my professional creativity in immeasurable ways; I learned a great deal about post-secondary education and technology, and the ways technology intersects with learning, teaching, and mediates and enables relationships of all kinds, if you use it right. I can honestly say I’ve never worked before with such committed, forward-thinking people. Just goes to show what can happen if you let people be free to do what they do best!

I hope I’ve been able to show my colleague’s best work (and the work of our stakeholders) to our broader stakeholder groups over the last five years. They have made my job easy.
Next week I’m stepping into a larger organization (there are 22,000 students at VCC!), leading a department of 13 people who are tasked with marketing and communications. It’s quite a step from BCcampus small but mighty communications department of 2.5 plus contractors (although I have supervised a shop of up to 8 previously). But one of the things I learned here is the importance of figuring out how to scale up.
You’ve taught me well, BCcampus!
The good thing is, I’ll be staying in the post-secondary system, so it doesn’t really feel like I’m saying goodbye, just “see you later!”

Related:

Photo by Dennis Yip, copyright BCcampus, used under Creative Commons license.
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Open Gov West 2010 – Chris Rasumussen’s keynote

Chris Rasmussen presented on the U.S. government’s Intellipedia – here are some initial rough notes to contribute to the opengovnorth.ca blog:

  • “Too many different tools & systems among gov agencies.” — (We’re facing that within an agency of only 26 people!)
  • Kinda stuck on the analytics side. Posting minutes and large docs on wikis os not what the US population asked for with legislation to allow open govt
  • We can finally create a living version – collapse arms into joint forces “purple intelligence” — that’s the vision but Chris is stuck getting there
  • The official voice matters – a convo on Twitter – how do you verify it as an official entity?
  • (We’re finding the same thing with Open Education Resources – people reluctant to use them if they’re not articulated and credentialed…)
  • Why can’t social network/wiki stuff be used as the official agency voice against the crowdsourced work flow?
  • Records retention system, etc. — Must answer the objections. “Be bold” is getting old, its not structurally redefining our business yet.
  • Unless your open gov wiki stuff changes the core way government works you’re going to hit a wall and get stuck like intellipedia did.
  • (I relate this to trying to set up a more cohesive Client Management System in my own small organization … it has to be incorporated into the work flow.)
  • How long are we going to spin the “change takes time” and “training” cliché??
  • Agencies: you’re going to have to give up the outcomes and not control the process end to end. Chris is not seeing indications that agencies want to do that – that’s where they’re stuck.
  • We’re now talking about saving money and rationalizing – people’s jobs at stake – can’t achieve enterprise 2.0 success and then get stuck on people worried about turf-saving and job-preserving.
  • Love/hate relationships – even people who make lots of changes to Intellipedia have the “Let’s not say things we can’t take back” syndrome.
  • This course trajectory might hit any internal environment.
  • (Yes Chris, it most certainly does!)
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