Change Management

Assessing Value Creation

By Lauren Thomas, Evans Incorporated

Sometimes it can be difficult to quantify the “value add” from innovation and from human experiences. The benefits of some projects may be intangible, invisible, or difficult to quantify. For example, the value of a good idea is difficult to measure, especially at the early stages of its application. We have also worked with clients who need help identifying the value of face-to-face meetings versus electronic briefings and virtual experiences.

Drawing on evaluation methodologies from a range of sources, Evans can help organizations to identify “value cycles” that help to describe the reach and adoption of good practices. We have applied this approach in change management, training and contingency planning projects, and have found that it helps us to move beyond standard metrics and key performance indicators to more clearly describe a “value add” to clients, change managers, and change resistors.

The value creation process

Evans also uses this value cycle approach to capture and re-tell compelling stories about how value is added like ripples in a pond as innovation and experience are passed on within a network or community. These narratives help project managers, change agents and organizations to describe the advantages of a change when conventional return on investment data may not yet be available. Story-telling is a human universal, and this approach gives the detail behind the numbers, helping to describe value when other metrics might not yet be available.

Journey Mapping and the Evans Human-Centered Approach

Evans Incorporated is celebrating 25 years of human-centered solutions. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate Evans’ journey mapping approach to its Change Management practice.

Lauren Thomas & Alicia Serrato

As human-centered consultants, we seek to understand the impacted user’s point of view when designing a new product, service, or experience. One we do this is by creating a journey map.

Journey mapping is a method that Evans’ design thinking consultants have adapted from the world of graphic recording and graphic facilitation. A journey map is a visual approach to representing a timeline for an individual, a user persona, a team or group, or an organization. It serves to represent history, current experience, and/or the future within a single image.

A basic approach to creating a journey map is:

Step 1: Listen to what is voicedjourney mapping

Step 2: Listen to what remains unvoiced

Step 3: Capture the essence.

Step 4: Use visuals to communicate experience

Step 5: Refine map based on user feedback

This graphic illustrates a basic process for creating a simple journey map. This technique may be used “live” in group setting by graphic facilitators and graphic recorders to capture discussions in real time and provide a visual record of the experience. For meeting participants, watching a graphic recorder or graphic facilitator create the journey map as conversations unfold can be a very powerful shared experience, literally creating shared meaning and a shared vision.

We also use journey maps to identify critical elements and experiences in adopting a change, and to plan the right actions and communications for each phase of a change or transformation. Used in this way, a journey map represents a road map for change management that documents and describes the experience of the change for end-users. This type of journey map can be created based on interviews and experiments and can be annotated with details relevant to each phase of the change.

Evans’ consultants have experience of using a wide range of visual and design thinking methods, including graphic recording, graphic facilitation, and journey mapping. Contact us if you would like to know more.

Design Thinking and Change Management

Evans Incorporated is celebrating 25 years of human-centered solutions. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate Evans’ design thinking approach to its Change Management practice.

Lauren Thomas and Alicia Serrato

The term “design thinking” describes a creative approach to problem solving that places human beings as end-users at the heart of the process. This human-centered approach is grounded in the belief that the people who face those problems are the ones who hold the key to their answer. In a nutshell, design thinking involves understanding the user being served, and aims to arrive at practical and innovative solutions that are rooted in people’s actual needs. These principles hit close to home for Evans, and we apply design thinking to drive impactful human-centered change (Figure 1).

Step 1. Empathize: Learn about the change challenge from the end-user’s perspective.

Step 2. Understand: Look for patterns and insights that help you understand the potential barriers and enablers of the change.

Step 3. Ideate: Generate creative solutions that resonate with users, and find out what “wows.”

Step 4. Develop: Turn the best ideas into options that you can test in the “real-world’ and improve through iterative refinement.

Step 5. Parcel: Package the solutions(s) into an integrated and holistic suite that supports users through difference stage of the change.

First, we seek to gain a deep and broad understanding of the current situation to gain insights into the challenge of change from the end-user’s perspective. Then, we define creative solutions that resonate with users and that can be applied in the real world. After all, ideas without application are just that, ideas. To turn them into workable solutions, we refine ideas using an iterative approach based on user-experience. This helps us to generate practical recommendations that really do support users in adopting a change.

The final part of the puzzle is working out how to “package” different elements of the solution. Different users have different needs in terms of support they need to make a change, and these needs likely vary through different phases of an organizational change.

Evans’ experience has shown that this design thinking approach helps to identify issues that may have been missed by more conventional change management approaches. Since this approach also puts the end users at the heart of the process, risks associated with the change are better managed and mitigated than with conventional change management approaches.

Coaching Change Leaders

By Kristen Wright, PhD, Prosci, CSM and Laura English, MSIOP

For a change to be successful, one of the most crucial factors is strong leadership support (i.e., change sponsorship), reinforcing key messages, and actively guiding employees through a change. In fact, year after year, Prosci’s benchmarking studies have shown that active and visible sponsor engagement is the leading factor for change success.

Continue reading

The Illusion of Control and How It Affects Change Management

By Noel Assegid, MBA, Prosci CMP and Alicia Serrato

Researchers have found that a powerful cognitive force that drives resistance to change is the fear of not having control of one’s destiny (Bovey & Hede, 2001). The findings indicate that individuals are so deeply motivated to control their environment, that they will be far more committed to an outcome if they feel that they are empowered to choose for themselves, as opposed to being told what to do (Tversky & Kahneman, 1975). This cognitive bias, known as the illusion of control, remains true even when individuals do not actually have control of the outcome.
Continue reading

Human-Centered Change Management

By Kristen Wright, PhD, Prosci, CSM

In both the public and private sector, change is a constant, but the more change that an organization goes through, the more likely it is to start experiencing change fatigue and resistance or even change failure. Here at Evans, we recognize that change is driven by people, and through our human-centered approach to supporting transformative change, our clients enjoy a fuller realization of targeted benefits from change efforts, minimizing disruptions and optimizing results. Continue reading

The Human Element of Change Management: Motivation is Personal

by Dawn Stevenson

If your change initiative isn’t working, think about how you’re selling it. Are you trying to convince people to change, or are you actually motivating them?

A 2009 article in McKinsey1 argues: “…people are irrational in a number of predictable ways…the practice of change management is in need of a transformational change through an improved understanding of the irrational (and often unconscious) nature of how humans interpret their environment and choose to act.” Continue reading

Change Management and Culture in the Federal Space

By Noel Assegid, MBA, Prosci CMP

The Evans Human-Centered Change Management approach emphasizes the importance of culture in all change efforts. This significant aspect of change is not always considered or even recognized, but a recent event, hosted by the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) DC, highlighted the increasing awareness of culture’s impact on change effort success in the federal space. Continue reading