If you’re in a change management role, you are faced with adapting the way you think and behave. Higher degrees of influence and adaptability are crucial to your effectiveness and successful execution.

My intention with this blog is to share stories of managers, in the midst of relentless change and transition. Together we discovered remarkable ways to equip each individual with game-changing approaches that fit their particular circumstances.

How Important Can Perception Management Be?

Perception Send&ReceivePicture This…

You’ve had a great weekend full of social activities. Monday you’re ready to begin another work week. Your morning routine involves powering up your device and checking messages and the news.

Surprise!  You are front and center in the news. The headlines are about you and your behavior. You learn you’ve been fired and news outlets around the globe are chasing you for comments. In less than 24 hours, your world has changed. Thanks to social media you have become an influencer and unemployed.

Five minutes of fame – and what it does. A vulgar heckling incident set off a tsunami of public and visible debate disrupting an ugly practice previously condoned.

We’ve all witnessed behavior and thought ‘I can’t believe they just said that!’  What’s surprising is that with this particular vulgar phrase, adults from all walks of life were so non- aware of the messages they had been sending. Don’t you wonder what else they have missed?

Here’s my takeAs a coach, I find most people by mid-career have not seen themselves on video except in a presentation or personal video. Yet the tweens and teens in their life have probably had media training already. Many adults have little awareness how their thoughts, comments or actions fuel others perceptions of them. Nor do they fully grasp the impact their actions have on colleagues or family, work or social situations.

I recall my first tween client who was struggling with being bullied. Because video coaching is such a positive experience, I was trusting it would help strengthen this kid’s self-concept and it did. After viewing his video, he said, “I’d be proud to put that on YouTube.” It wasn’t the answer I was expecting yet it indicated he had a much different view of himself by seeing what others saw. This change in thinking was a pivotal point to help him deal differently with the bully in his life.

How important can perception management be?  Gone are the days where you can keep a secret, sweep something under the rug, or fly under the radar. Before if something went wrong in your career, you could move to another area and start over. In a digital world, little is private, and digital footprints aren’t easily erased.

Nor do we have the luxury of time to determine an appropriate response. Most organizations have invested heavily in their brand and reputations. They have thought through what to do in the event of an adverse event.

Being an influencer is highly valued but it has an upside and downside. In mere days this vulgar heckling incident set in motion significant change to personal and business reputations, sports culture and personal and professional relationships.

The consequences of under developed perception management skills can be harsh. For those who enjoy ‘pushing boundaries’ they may want to be very clear on what they are pushing and why especially if their identity is tied to their work and working relationships.

Judi Walsh is a Perception Management Coach and speaker with extensive experience working in change management implementation. She specializes in coaching management talent through transitions, perception management, and adaptability. Clients say her presentations are ‘eye-opening’, relevant, engaging and readily put into practice. Learn more here.



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Utilize This Hidden Asset – It’s a Game Changer

Perception Management LensPicture this…

You see the ways your industry is being challenged. It’s obvious you will need to do something different in order to last another fifteen years.

You have solid education, extensive experience, a high degree of passion and commitment. Many other people have similar career assets.

You catch yourself asking “what is it I need to do to fill the gap?”

What’s changed? 

  • Business models have been reshaped by data.
  • Power has been redistributed.
  • What used to be considered an asset may now be viewed as a
  • Everyone’s ability to influence is not equal.
  • Hard work is essential however by itself it does not portray your value.

Sensors have been a huge game changer. They are everywhere collecting data: in our cars, homes, on our bodies, in our personal devices. We leave a perpetual trail.

Here’s my take – I regularly see individuals underutilizing change management skills that they could take to much higher levels. To me, individual perception management can impact your level of influence in similar ways that data did to reshape business models.

A hidden asset residing within each of us is a set of thinking and sensory skills that can enhance effectiveness. Developing your perception management skills is a game changer that can help you close the gap. The way you drive change will stand out – serving your current needs and building a solid base for the future.

In an earlier post, I listed why managing change was getting tougher and more complex. We forget that plans don’t implement, it’s the people that make it happen. Perception management skills can significantly enhance an individual’s ability to engage and influence.

What are the consequences of not building these skills? Today’s relentless pace of change will only increase. We’ve observed or experienced instances where someone missed opportunities because they:

  • were inept at reading people and missed cues and nuances
  • neglected to vary their talk between ten, twenty or thirty thousand foot levels
  • hoped hard work and long hours would send the right messages
  • stuck to a sales script instead of sincere research and active listening
  • believed their revenues were safe due to a long-standing relationship

How could you take your perception management skills to higher levels?  

Develop your people reading skills. Individuals reveal much about themselves through behavior. Anyone can learn to interpret behavior based on needs.

Talk less, say more. The less time you have with a key stakeholder, the more you need to ensure you are on point.

Keep your sensors charged. Acceptance needs vary by individual. However, when we get what we need, we may relax instead of dialling up our sensors to engage more fully.

Ask quality questions. They reveal much to others about the depth of your thinking and preparation.

To implement bold change plans with greater success, you need game changers that fit your circumstances. In the next few posts, I will share additional ones that have equipped clients to drive change in remarkable ways.

Judi Walsh is a speaker and leadership coach with extensive experience working in change management implementation. She specializes in coaching management talent through transitions, perception management, and adaptability. Clients say her presentations are “eye opening”, relevant, engaging and readily put into practice. Learn more here.


Photo:  DepositPhotos


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Is Creative Disruption Threatening Your Security?

Transition ThoughtsPicture this…

Your industry is gets hit by a disruptor – one of those new, unexpected competitors. It dawns on you that the secure future you’ve planned and worked diligently to build is now in jeopardy. It’s difficult to imagine where you will be work wise in three years time.

It’s one thing to adapt to change quite another matter to adjust to cataclysmic disruption.

Disruptors are portrayed as either brilliant or bad guys. Regularly the media blast stories about industries where competitors have entered with new business and engagement models. They graphically remind us where an industry, such as publishing, was then and where it is now. Many articles are one sided focusing on the negative or positive side of one aspect.

With every disruption, there is an upside and a downside. You have to look from many angles to see where it fits on a spectrum of brilliant to bad for you, your role and your organization and industry.

Change is constant, and the future is already here. You may be familiar with Elizabeth Holmes – the woman who has invented a way to run 30 lab tests on only one drop of blood. It’s a fascinating story that affects millions of people positively and negatively.

Holmes set out at the age of 19 to change the health care system. Today some of those steps have already been implemented. Theranos, a privately owned biotech company, operated in stealth mode for ten years to maintain confidentiality.

What impact will this disruption have on you?

  • It’s a heartwarming story if you have a family member who is very ill, because drawing blood will be less painful. This is terrific news for children, the elderly or oncology patients.
  • If you need a diagnosis, it means your doctor can have results in four hours, or you will have better access to personal data in order to monitor your efforts to take care of health issues.
  • It’s a chilling story, if you’re a medical lab or insurance firm, as it will negatively impact revenues and your supply chain partners.
  • If you’re a medical laboratory technician, it threatens your livelihood, and it’s ‘close to the bone’.
  • It’s about adapting if you are a healthcare worker or doctor, the change in processes will require doing things differently, and, however, most healthcare institutions are in long-term change management mode already.
  • It’s a good news story if you’re a taxpayer, instead of it costing more because it’s new and advanced, you can expect savings in the billions of dollars. Prices, for over a thousand tests, are posted on their website at rates lower than insurance companies currently charge. It’s a good news story too if you self-pay for health coverage.

Where there’s change, you will discover transition

Change and transition are constant companions. Change is the event: the new technology moving into the market and its impact. Transition is the emotional side: the affects to your personal and professional life. It’s the chaotic neutral zone full of endings, beginnings and new opportunities in odd disguises.

Here’s my take on change and transition – change is like a roadway while transition is like a river.

The change plan is similar to driving on a clearly marked highway with lines and signs. You can get traction on the solid road beneath your tires. You have maps and checkpoints to estimate time requirements. Your destination is clearly defined.

Transitions are more like traveling on a fast flowing river. It’s fluid with an array of mysterious conditions. There are fewer markings, varying currents, inclement weather, and the risk of capsizing. You have less control and more variables.

Driving and navigating are two very different skill sets. Many don’t distinguish between the two. Visualize a roadway that turns into a river…now what? Most change management efforts that falter or fail do so because the transitions were ignored or not taken seriously.

How could you take your transition skills to higher levels?

Reading:  Don’t let those click-bait headlines and short content articles ruin your day. Do some serious research to sort through what’s real and what is imagined.

 Solicit other’s experiences:  Less about advice and more about considering alternate ways of coping.

Reflect on past events:  Look for the behavior patterns you tend to apply when handling adverse situations. Often hindsight will change your perspective and provide insights you had missed.

Creative disruption is both exciting and risky. For some, it brings improvement. For others, it signals a time of uncertainty and insecurity. The game changer, in this case, is discovering how transition affects you and learning ways to discern the difference between real danger and risk.

When change is not a choice, what’s your approach for handling mixed emotions? Ex:  lost your role, company acquired, assigned to a different location 

What part did insecurity play in this for you? 

What were game changers for you? 


Article:  http://www.wired.com/2014/02/elizabeth-holmes-theranos/

 Photo:  DepositPhotos


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Learning Opportunity – Professional Development That Fits Your Schedule

AccelerateThe way I see it, time is either spent or invested.

Here’s a professional development opportunity that falls on the investment side.   It’s flexible, free and can fit your schedule if you download the audio files.

On January 20th, 2015, I along with 19 other highly-sought-after guest speakers and career experts are revealing our best strategies and tactics for career success in a 100% FREE Virtual Tele-Summit!

 “2015 Catapult Your Career Success Summit” – Career Strategies And Tactics For Executives, Managers And Leaders Who Desire To Make A Bigger Impact, Accomplish More In Less Time And Ultimately Achieve Greater Success And Recognition!

ABSOLUTELY FREE!      Register Now:   http://resultscatalyst.ca/catapult.html

This complimentary event runs from January 20th, 2015 through February 2nd, 2015 from the comfort of your home or office (via phone or internet).

Join me and renown guest speakers and career experts Kim Ades, Dana Manciagli, Sylvia Lafair, Melonie Dodaro, Regina Barr, Shahmeen Sadiq, Gary Ford, Kathi Miller-Miller, Susan Freeman, Carla Kendall and many, many more.

And no worries if you can’t make all the “live” sessions – you’ll receive FREE access to ALL recordings!

It starts this week.  By registering, you have access to the sessions that fit your current development needs and your time schedule.

Register Now: http://resultscatalyst.ca/catapult.html

 Do you want to make a bigger impact in your career?

 Are you seeking ways to accomplish more in less time?  

 Photo: DepositPhotos


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Why Has Change Management Become More Difficult?

Development Options for your leaders ASK CorporatePicture This…

Your executive team announced a change in business directions and reorganization. The changes have a major impact on your area. You scroll through your memory bank.

It seems as if the past twenty years has been one change initiative after another. You have been through every variation: a merger, new leadership team, or led a downsizing and centralization project. You were the driving force behind an organizational efficiency project that involved significant savings for the company and increased employee engagement.

Managing change is always tough. However, it’s becoming tougher and more complex because of:

  • Increased number of external stakeholders
  • More ‘assets’ at stake – reputation, brand, talent, partnerships, key relationships
  • Less time and fewer resources
  • Greater consequences to comments by leaders or employees
  • Acute responsiveness required since news travels faster – negative or positive
  • Power shift from ‘buyer beware’ to ‘seller beware’
  • Unanticipated competitors entering with new business and engagement models
  • Diverse technology that disrupts or necessitates a learning curve
  • Rapidly changing forces that upset the company culture – struggling to adapt

Here’s my take on the then and now – in ten years it has gone from a snapshot to a movie. In 2005, it was a snapshot, get it done, execute and measure the hard factors. In 2015, it’s now a movie complete with soundtrack and streaming capabilities. Get it done without damaging the brand, reputation or relationships. The difference between a snapshot and a movie is significant – no wonder it’s more complex!

It is a given: today’s relentless pace of change will only increase. That means you will not have the time, energy or capacity to deal with all the issues. Plus the higher expectations will challenge you to stretch many of your leadership competencies beyond a point you thought possible.

How could you take your change management skills to higher levels?

Read a book:  There are nearly 20,000 change management books out there.

Solicit advice:  Learn from other people’s experiences in person or online.

Leadership transition coaching: Customized help for your needs and challenges.

To implement bold change plans with greater success, you need game changers that fit your circumstances.

In the next few posts, I will share some that have equipped clients to:

  • discern between perception and reality
  • push boundaries – for themselves and others
  • push themselves to manage risks
  • prevent creating unnecessary fears
  • handle and prevent setbacks
  • find hidden resources
  • increase ability to tolerate differences in ways that bring others along
  • apply perception management to become a skillful influencer

Leadership development for key players will benefit the business, the leader and enhances working relationships. There are unique aspects to every change management plan, and it’s important to identify the hotspots and what needs to be managed or leveraged.

What’s your take on why change management has become more difficult?

What was tough for you?

What were game changers for you?

Photos:  DepositPhotos


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Sticky Branding – a recommended book

Sticky BrandingPicture this…

You compare the Fortune 500 list of companies from 2014 to the year 2000. Gone are over half the companies from the year 2000. It’s a sobering statistic that gives credence to the comment ‘what brought you here won’t take you there’.

Over the holidays, I read a book that could have a powerful impact on your 2015 challenges. Fortunately for me, I was invited to be part of the launch team to read and review the book. I met Jeremy at a CAPS meeting (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers) a number of years ago and our paths continue to cross for various reasons.

The book:  Sticky Branding – 12.5 Principles to Stand Out, Attract Customers and Grow an Incredible Brand by Jeremy Miller (Toronto: Dundurn, 2015)

To me the tone of the book:

  • Left me with a sense I was listening to people I respect and admire.
  • Engaged me in a thinking and building process rather than entertaining me with stories of instant success or quick fixes.

The parts I particularly liked:

  • The companies interviewed were small to mid-sized, many were Canadian firms.
  • Principle #1: Simple clarity is the ability to simply and succinctly describe your business, what makes it unique, and who it serves. When you achieve it, your business becomes more findable, referable, memorable and desirable.
  • How their company transitioned from saying we are unique to becoming unique.
  • Principle #3: Function that resonates is the pursuit of delivering value added services that resonate with your customers. Customers want substance over flash and will seek out companies who truly understand them and their needs.
  • Brands are built from the inside out. It’s essential every company employee become a steward of the brand.
  • Branding can become a positioning activity of where you want to be, but a “sticky brand” is created by being the brand your customers want.
  • No one ever said business has to be fair. Every company is trying to find a strategy or competitive advantage that positions its brand to win.

It is a valuable playbook whether you are:

  • A management team examining what’s next for the business.
  • A director strengthening your team’s relationship with your brand.
  • A business owner getting everyone engaged and resonating with customers.

If you believe in hard work, yet find that working harder isn’t getting you where you need to be then you need to pick up this book.

It will be available on Amazon Jan 10, 2015.


Learn more about Jeremy Miller:

Website: http://www.stickybranding.com

LinkedIn: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/jeremymiller/


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