In October 2020, we found ourselves still in a period of a continued transition, globally. The second wave of Covid-19 overlaps the roll-off of the first wave, and we are a long way from a vaccine for everyone, despite boasts from politicians. The world is still struggling to find a ‘new normal’. It was an excellent time to gather the Change Management community to ask: how will we play our role to help the world change?

This conference involved the right ingredients; passionate practitioners, C-suite executives, doyens of the industry, and some newcomers. We had registrants from around the globe:

We explored five themes. As we view each, we list the speakers who contributed and their organisations. Of equal importance, attendees contributed too in workshops, by asking probing questions, and in networking sessions. It fits, therefore, to gratefully recognise the contributors first.

  • Digitisation and mega-changes transform operating models or need implementation across the globe or in many cultures, posing significant challenges; Scott McAllister (Prosci), Dr Linda Ackerman Anderson (Being First), Dr Ryk Croukamp (PsychAI), Tim Creasey (Prosci), Evgeny Charkin (Russian Railways), Andrey Belevtsev (Gazprom neft), Konstantin Nechaev (Avito), Yulya Uzhakina (Rosatom), Alexander Laryanovsky (SkyEng), Yuri Proskurnya (and Change)
  • Senior leaders regularly struggle with the disruption that fundamentally reshapes their organisations and industries. In so doing, they can contribute to building better societies – Tim Creasey (Prosci), Dr Dean Anderson (Being First), Daryl Conner (Conner Advisory), Prof. Umran Inan (Koç University), Dr Laura Bogardus & Mike Teachey (Bogardus Consulting LLC and Greenville SHRM)
  • Change managers close the gap between organisations wanting to and actually changing. With their expertise and energy, organisations achieve results and reduce risk. We explored existing and new practices – Steve Green (Microsoft), Mary Morello and Mike Davis (Prosci), Craig McCann (Intelligent Business Partners), Mark Dorsett (Prosci), James Thomas (Strategy &), Dr Linda Ackerman Anderson (Being First), Conny Scharfe & Tom Marsicano (Suva & and Change)
  • Managing Ecosystems has become even more challenging. Organisations grow internal and acquire external ‘start-ups’ as part of their innovative entrepreneurship while simultaneously digitising their business – Renato Haechler (Swiss Re), Douglas Flory (LogMeIn), Prof. Herman Singh (Future Advisory), Dr Linda Ackerman Anderson (Being First), Antonio Costa (Humable)
  • Essential issues that change leaders need to deal with in their organisations, like developing leadership, business continuity and enterprise change capability – Nida Bektaş & Örpen Istanbullu (Koç University) Lisa Ashton (Bioss), Joan Laine (Embracing Change), Saul Rosenberg (SectrumNovus), Dunn Mukosa (BI Technologies Africa), Dr Andre Smuts (Thrifa), Dr Dean Anderson (Being First)

Apart from making recordings of the sessions and slides which shall be available to Premium registrants, we also explored a new way of conferencing. Based on what we learned, we decided to continue the process started here, forming a group of networks, driven by the audience, and supported by and Change.

In part 2 of this Change Diary, we will summarise some of the insights shared at the conference. We shall focus on how leaders can set a ‘new normal’ and how change management practitioners can support them and their organisations be more efficient and effective at changing.