You Too Can Be a Change Consultant!

I take tours of LinkedIn every once in a while to see what the rest of the world is up to.

Today it was “peers”.

I broadened my definition of that word to anyone who says they specialize in change management.

Whoa.

For a second I actually started to think some sort of certification might be a good idea. (Only for a second though).

There are profiles out there that have nothing to do with the practice of change management. Hint: going through some big change at an organization does not count. Supporting someone who is in charge of change doesn’t either. Getting laid off multiples times because of change? Nope.

I tightened up my search to firms that sell change management and it got even uglier. Much less education and, for big change anyway (which requires a resume that shows change in multiple environments) almost zero experience. Companies are selling change and have never really done any change…

So clients, unless you are really looking for a project manager (or hunting on the cheap) here are some things I would expect if I was in your shoes contracting (internal roles are different those are very much like project management, or at least, tactical change management):

  1. An advanced degree.
    It is the only certification that gives you the reasoned thinking needed for dealing with people and change. The requirement for statistics ices the cake to put a business side on the people work.
  2. A little grey.
    Unless you are filling a very low-level role the “little grey” means you will get someone who has made a few mistakes, adjusted and learned to do things (and interact with people) more effectively. I can quickly count early mistakes in my career and they dictate how I approach certain situations.
  3. A LinkedIn profile that shows experience.
    It has become very hard to puff up a resume with the ability to look at a profile.
    You may not be able to see exactly what they did, use a conversation for that, but you will get an idea of the companies they have worked with and the type of change they have guided. There are a whole slew of one and two trick ponies out there.
    I coach soccer. By 10 or 11 the players need at least two tricks to be effective. CM may just mirror that.
  4. Participation in virtual environments.
    Does this candidate post anywhere?
    You will be able to quickly “hear” their voice and “see” their perspective if they have written. There is no change position that does not require good solid writing skills. A good writer will usually be a good CM communicator. Plus the fact that they are interacting virtually with peers and others means they will be able to do the same with your global initiative (I can’t remember the last time I had an initiative that wasn’t global and mostly virtual).
  5. Confidence balanced with Humility.
    You should hear this in their voice the first time you talk.
    You want someone who is comfortable guiding others success and who rarely calls out that ability.

Prerequisites for to be a Change Consultant: an advanced degree, some gray hairs, a profile that illustrates experience, a record of virtual interaction and a dash of confidence and humility.

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