The frequency and intensity of business conversations dialed up to high in the past five months. Nearly all are virtual, with conference calls and screen-sharing, face-featuring sessions occurring most often. Emotions are high and so are demands for brilliant skills in change management.
Listen closely and you’ll detect the invisible conversation going on beneath the one that is on the agenda. When association leaders or credentials colleagues invite me into these many, distinct industry-focused conversations as their guide and facilitator, the prevalent talk is about their association, their members, their certifications and the impact of COVID-19 on their professional sector.
Many voices share stories of change and uncertainty thrust upon them, every day. No longer is it enough to act as the expert and gold standard for their specific profession, such as civil engineer, pediatric nurse, financial planner, etc. It seems that all were tossed into the deep end of the pool called change management.
As I listen, in meeting after meeting, I wonder, is it just me, or did you know there is a professional association and certification program for change management? You don’t have to be a member of the organization to take off your shoes and go wading in their fountain of knowledge.
Indeed, professional associations and certification enterprises charge fees for people to attend their meetings, take online courses and sign up for membership. Did you know they also have public-interest and community well-being parts of their organizations?
Many of the more than 100,000 professional associations and certification agencies are not for-profit corporations. The majority organized under the Internal Revenue Service rules that require them to serve the public or have a public-interest or community-supporting kind of business mission.
Here’s how it works. For everyone who finds themself tossed into the barrage of change and knows deep down they were never trained for it or, frankly, ever that interested in change management, there are useful resources at the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP).
I just signed up for a free web conference, “The Future of Work is NOW” on July 8, presented by a panel of change management superstars. ACMP probably did this for everyone who finds themself in the tumult of change management and has not yet registered for the 2020 Annual Conference, called Change Management Global Connect, a totally virtual conference from July 14-17.
The good news is we can get this great help and insights from experts, right now and at no charge.
Here’s what they will discuss. “The Future of Work is NOW is for many leaders who needed to pivot their business to remain successful. Healthcare answered a call for an intense unforeseen need in response to a global crisis. Technological implementations were strongly needed for organizations to survive. Join us for a panel discussion to learn from these leaders to prepare for the change our future brings.”
The timing on this free session with incomparable experts showed up at a good point. Because my clients, readers, tribe and professional networks have concerns about the future of work, I’m eager to learn much and get insights on what might happen next in the many, different professional organizations, industries and credentials enterprises I serve.
This is why I adore working with associations and their bodies of knowledge or core competency models. I love the way they realize everyone doesn’t want to be them; still, other business leaders may need to work with the skills and knowledge which define them (change managers in this instance), more than they ever imagined
Here’s another example. How many times do you manage a project? Ask 10 colleagues in your profession and all of them will say they have to create, develop, cost out and manage projects. How many of have Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification? You guessed it—not that many. Ask the better question. Have you ever looked at the Project Management Institute website to see what public fountains of knowledge they might have, where you can wade in, no charge?
How about another example? If you run a business and have employees, you need human resource management knowledge. The Society for Human Resource Management realized—decades ago, there are many more end users of their body of knowledge than will ever aspire to become HR Professionals.
When SHRM first hired our firm to help them with more than 27 major projects across a three-year span, they had 60,000 members. By realizing they could share a lot of knowledge that people needed, at no charge or low charge, they grew the organization to more than 300,000. Most of them are HR professionals and many more are “other professionals” like you and me who must learn something about HR and live within the employment laws of our state.
As much as we like search engines and the time they save us, you can learn to love, much more, the beautifully built, massive, well-organized public fountains of knowledge that hundreds of associations and certification owners created. We were there and helped many build those great fountains of knowledge.
Did you know that many certification creators will partner with several associations and spend more than a quarter of a million dollars and many months organizing specific bodies of knowledge. That’s a lot more work than you’ll do in a 20 trawl through the Internet.
Associations are useful for pooled knowledge and they will sell it to anyone: Books, articles, conferences online, and in-person workshops (when that ever happens again). Visit their websites to find free resources, designed to help you with basics and urgent matters. Most of what they offer comes with a fee. You may get a price break if you also pay a membership fee, but it’s rare to find a profession that refuses to share their knowledge with other professionals.