• Krista Schaber-Chan

Building relationships – a necessary step for effective change management 

Written in gratitude by Krista Schaber-Chan, Partner, Harbinger 

As a change management and learning  professional, I thrive on the opportunity to lead companies through change. One of the things I enjoy the most about what I do is the variety I get from each new project as no two projects are ever the same.  Starting a new project always has its challenges, and with  many, in the role of Change Manager, I am often seen as the one coming in to disrupt the status-quo. Imagine starting off on this…it’s  definitely not easy!  Then consider layering on all of the other aspects of starting  at a  new  organization where you don’t know anyone, you need to learn the ins-and-outs of the business, and still need to prove yourself. On top of this, they say it typically takes at least three to six months to settle into a role. Unfortunately for me, I don’t usually have the luxury of time and I’ve discovered that one of the most important things you can do to help expedite the process is to focus on getting to know the people and building relationships.   In my experience, building relationships is critical and a necessary step for effective change management. Establishing relationships with the right people will help astronomically for a number of  reasons including:  1. Understanding the invaluable  inner-workings  about the company.  Nowadays you can find a wealth of information online, however nothing beats getting the inside scoop from the people that are working there.  I’ve been able to learn so much (e.g. how are people feeling about the company and the changes that are coming, leadership and past changes, what makes people tick or happy etc.) from running into people on the way to the washrooms, or while grabbing a coffee. This is the stuff you can’t find online.