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Navigating Change

Insights from a Change Management Professional

Portrait of Grace McKeown

Principal Consultant

Komon Consulting

Top 3 Takeaways

1. The Professionalization of Change Management: significantly elevated its importance, as demonstrated by the establishment of the Association of Change Management Professionals.

2. Digital Transformation: the shift from paper-based to digital records in the healthcare industry increased efficiency and improved service but presented challenges such as resistance to change and the need for new training.

3. Visionary Leadership and Mentorship: drive successful change initiatives, foster professional growth, and create a supportive network for sharing knowledge across generations.

The Evolution of Change Management

Change is an inherent aspect of organizational growth and development. To explore the intricacies of managing change successfully, we had the privilege of interviewing a seasoned professional in Change Management. Referring to her experiences, insights, and strategies gained over a successful career, Grace McKeown discusses the evolution of change management and the significance of formalizing it as a profession.

From Paper-Based Records to Digital Transformation

Grace’s career began nearly four decades ago in the healthcare industry. She vividly recounts the early days when health records were entirely paper-based, with index cards and typewriters playing pivotal roles. However, witnessing the gradual transition toward electronic health records profoundly impacted her career trajectory.

The shift from paper to digital records marked a significant turning point in the industry. Grace shares how this transformation brought about efficiency, accessibility, and improved patient care. She also highlights the challenges faced during this transition, such as resistance to change and the need to train staff in utilizing new technologies.

The Influence of Visionary Leaders

During her time in the healthcare industry, Grace worked under visionary leaders who intuitively understood the importance of change management, even before it had a formal name. Inspired by her mentors, she witnessed successful change initiatives and learned the value of gaining buy-in from stakeholders.

One mentor introduced structured project management into the healthcare sector, emphasizing the significance of engaging people to ensure the successful adoption of new systems. Through these experiences, our interviewee recognized the importance of visionary leadership in driving and facilitating effective change management.

Creating an Integrated Approach

With the formation of the Fraser Health Authority, another mentor was tasked with reducing a substantial deficit. Recognizing the value of project and change management, they brought together a team to tackle the challenge. This initiative led to the establishment of an internal consulting team specializing in project management, focusing on integrating change management principles.

Grace shares insights into the team's growth and the development of a structured approach that resonated with clinical professionals. The team successfully navigated complex organizational transitions by combining project management methodologies with a comprehensive understanding of the people side of change.

The Rise of Change Management as a Profession

Grace sheds light on the evolution of change management as a recognized profession by highlighting the establishment of the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) in 2011 and her involvement in the ACMP's Vancouver chapter, serving in various leadership roles. This professionalization of change management brought about formal standards and certifications, further elevating the field's importance and impact. Now organizations across industries actively seek dedicated change management roles, recognizing the value of professionals equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate complex change initiatives successfully.

The Importance of Mentorship and Connecting Generations

Throughout the interview, the theme of mentorship emerges as a significant factor in professional growth. Grace reflects on her mentors and their impact on her career. She emphasizes the importance of seeking mentorship and also becoming a mentor to share knowledge across generations and foster a supportive network.

Grace McKeown's journey in change management, from the shift of paper-based to digital records to the establishment of change management as a profession, offers invaluable insights into the dynamic nature of change. Moreover, it underscores the importance of visionary leadership, integrated approaches, and the value of mentorship in managing complex organizational transitions.


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