Change Whisperer – Gail Severini, Symphini Change Management Inc.

Reflections, resolutions…and what’s next for 2014
December 20, 2013, 10:15 am
Filed under: - Personal Reflections | Tags:

In memory of Mandela

In memory of Nelson Mandela. “His legacy lives on in all of us. It is in our hands now.”

As we stand on the bridge between 2013 and 2014, I am grateful for the progress in our economies and optimistic about the advancements that look feasible in the near future.

I continue to believe that by leveraging our change management and strategy execution capabilities we make a meaningful contribution to continuing prosperity.

This simple idea was at the heart of the inception of this blog—that change management and strategy execution contribute to progress. In fact, perhaps you also believe that, when combined with strategy, these capabilities are the fuel of progress.

Looking back

What topics have been most popular on Change Whisperer over the past year? Most of the top blog posts have elements of professional development to them; whether it is a list of competencies, methodology, or resources, it is about sharing resources that raises our game.

Top posts of 2013 (most popular at top):

  1. Top 10 competencies for change agents
  2. Change management methodologies
  3. Change Management Conferences 2013
  4. What is “change management”? And, is definition important?
  5. Top 10 competencies for change leaders
  6. Optimizing internal and external change management (presentation and tip sheet)
  7. Stolen: change management. Reward offered. So what? Post 1
  8. 10 tips for becoming a trusted advisor in change management
  9. Change management videos, webinars, and podcasts
  10. Breakthroughs in strategy

Irrespective of the topics we choose to focus on, nothing is more important than the work. As much as the work of change management might tap every capability we have, and often sap every ounce of our energy and patience, we must focus on progress.

Changes that matter

CIP 2014

Every year, Conner Partners undertakes a community service day. This December, we volunteered at a division of the Atlanta Mission called My Sister’s House.

We donated lunch for the day, cooked, served, and cleaned up for the residents and volunteers there.

It seemed miniscule in the context of the work that this organization does every day and the tremendous progress the residents make—and it was heart-warming to spend this time with them.

Looking ahead

Over the past year, as the economic recovery began to float more and more strategic initiatives, we saw a revival of change management. We are perhaps not quite where we were in early 2008, but close.

More organizations have re-established more roles (contract and permanent). There has been more interest in formalizing change management, from implementing methodologies and process to building capabilities. Debates around where change management belongs—in Human Resources or Project Management—are revived.

Going forward, presuming that the economy remains stable and positive, what advancements might we resolve to push for? Here’s my current list:

  • Holistic approaches to executing change; more traction on integrating strategy formulation and planning with execution, on combining change management and project management—and, by the way, integrating lean, business analysis, design thinking, and other related disciplines
  • Revival of interest in change agility and creating organizational cultures that are receptive to change
  • Attention at the Board level, because ultimately, transformational change is a survival imperative and the risk is not inconsequential; some Boards are beginning to wake up to this

What’s on your list?

Posts coming in January

“Change Management Conferences 2014” and “What is the Board’s role in strategy and strategy execution” are up next. I will also be interviewing Daryl Conner on his current views of the nimble organization and hope to share that in January, too.

Don’t want to miss them? You can subscribe top left.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.


As we pause in 2013, I’d like to thank you for reading and commenting here. I hope we can spend face time together in 2014.

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

—Traditional Gaelic blessing

Related posts:

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1 Comment so far
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Hi Gail,

Everyone of our action as change agent in our world of frailties should endower to speak loudly for respect and positive outcomes of all our activities!

Rémi Bourdage, CRIA, EDC, AMC, B.Sc.E. Ceinture Verte(Green Belt)Six Sigma.

Article ImageChef de pratique, Entrepreneur en gestion de la stratégie du changement/Transformation et Coaching Exécutif.

Notre mission, aider les individus et les entreprises à devenir plus innovateurs, compétitifs et profitables! (

( 514-426-1976 *

Head Coach, Strategic Transformation Management and Executive Coaching.

Our mission is to help individuals and organizations to be more inovative, competitive and profitable!

Planification de multiples scénarios stratégiques et transitions(Delta Model+), Consolidation D’équipes, Leadership D’engagement Profitable, Balisage et audit de gestion de calibre mondial Qualimètre et ou Baldridge, Négociations Gagnantes, Gestion de la Connaissance Implicite et Explicite, Gestion et Cartographie systématique des processus d’affaires et GRH Kaizen, Diagnostic Organisationnel, GRH et Orientation Client Interne-Externe, Formation aux techniques de la consultation, Formation au Coaching de Supervision, Restructuration et Ré-engagement des ressources, Gestion de la performance et de l’engagement, Formation à la Gestion de Projets Authentique, conférencier et animateur de réunions. Outils D’amélioration Continue des Processus Six Sigma. P

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