For years now, our profession has been consumed with the notion that only 30% of change endeavors fully achieve their stated objectives. Countless books, articles, blogs, speeches, and conference sessions have been devoted to questions like: Is this really the correct portrayal of change’s success rate?
If you are an experienced internal professional or external consultant who facilitates organizational change, what is shared here is meant for you. Essays on the Mastery Path is for seasoned change practitioners (change management, project management, organizational design, IT, HR, businesses relationship management, leadership development, strategic planning, etc.) who are at a point in their career where how you “show up” when practicing your craft is as important as how well you apply the tools of your trade.
As you know, not every change practitioner is on such a path. My experience over four decades has shown that 25% of our peers are seen as Inept; another 65% are viewed as providing Adequate levels of support. Only 10% are recognized by their sponsors as High Impact trusted advisors. It is this 10%, and those on the brink of entering their ranks, who are on the mastery path as change practitioners…a path represented by the images above: the reflective nature of the journey, and the breakthrough transformation of becoming.
There are two facets to being a change practitioner. First, there is what you do, all the concepts, processes, etc. that are in your toolkit. Second, there is who you are, the character that is at your core, and the presence that gives that character voice as you interact with clients. Being on a Mastery Path requires that you intentionally attend to both aspects.
Over the past year, my Raising Your Game blog concentrated exclusively on how character and presence can be leveraged to create value for your clients. This year, my Essays on the Mastery Path broadens that focus. I will continue to write about character and presence, but from time to time I’ll reflect on some of the more advance elements regarding the what you do side of mastery as well.
When I do write about what you do, I won’t be addressing methodology-related issues (approaches, techniques, etc.). I’ll be commenting on the deeper insights required of high impact change practitioners as they deploy methodology…what 10%ers are doing to generate such extraordinary influence with the leaders they serve. I won’t be adding to your reservoir of “how to” frameworks, I’ll be speaking to issues and challenges associated with taking your existing capabilities and tools to the next level…. advancing the practice of change execution to an art form.
My style is to write full essays about whatever topic I’m exploring. Some are short, while others are relatively long. When I post an essay, you will have two options for reading it. As in the past, my posts will be available to read online. You will also have the option of downloading each essay as a PDF. There will be a download button at the end of each essay; in addition, you will find a directory of all the essays at the side of this page.
With more than forty years of experience as a change practitioner, I consider myself not a master, but one who is still on the mastery path. By sharing insights and lessons learned that have been meaningful to me, I hope your mastery journey can be supported if not accelerated.
Thank you for joining me on the path!
https://conneracademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Building-the-High-Impact-Trusted-Advisor-Relationship.mp4 High Impact Trusted Advisors (HITAs) are change practitioners with extraordinary access to and influence with senior leaders. Some serve executives at the C-suite level, some support key leaders in other capacities within the top echelon, but all are advising executives responsible for the entire enterprise, major functions, or significant geographic areas. As they develop
Leaders responsible for implementing significant change in their organizations need access to experienced advisors who can help guide them through the pitfalls of executing these major initiatives. This role, termed “change practitioner,” is filled by professionals from a wide array of disciplines including change management, organizational development, HR, leadership development, strategic planning, project management, IT,
Throughout the last several years, I have devoted myself to investigating the contributing factors that have led some change professionals to have incredibly influential relationships with their clients (High Impact practitioners), while others, despite making useful contributions, have relatively modest impact by comparison (Adequate practitioners ). As I continue to examine what differentiates these
One of the key differentiators separating High Impact practitioners from others in the field is their approach to questions. Adequate change practitioners tend to look at questions merely as vehicles to reach the right answers. When they find these answers, their thirst is quenched. They strive for efficiency in their search, which leads to binary thinking: they want to make good/bad, up/down, left/right, black/white determinations with the least time and resource investment possible. They value linear processing, low ambiguity, the permanent nature of things, and speedy decision-making. Ultimately, their self-image is often based primarily on what they have accomplished.