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Merging success: Managing culture through change

September 2, 2022
clock 4 MIN READ

Mona Roccia, SEI Project Management Office Program Lead, and her team help organizations through transformation. Their ultimate goal: creating change that sticks. 

People are critical to delivering successful implementations. In this video, Mona shares her advice on how to build culture during change, including the importance of looking outside of your leadership team to create a change coalition, how a shared vision can drive up productivity and engagement, and the three words that can make a huge impact. 

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Mona Roccia:
Hi, my name is Mona Roccia. I've been at SEI for about 25 years.

Mona Roccia:
So my organizational change management team and I help organizations go through change by effectively creating strategies using the Prosci Methodology. The ultimate goal for us is that that change sticks. We especially spend a lot of time working with technical teams and business teams down to the individual level so that they understand the change that's coming and the success that it can bring for their organization. We like to call that in the beginning the why behind the what. So we have a change coalition. Why are we doing this? Because when it touches your why then typically the employees are much more engaged.

Mona Roccia:
Organizations spend a lot of time and money hiring really great people. They have high talent, they want to make a difference and we should trust them. So by ensuring that they understand what the vision is, creating that impact where it's a shared vision, the people on the ground can actually catapult us to success if we let them be who they are and do what they need to do within a framework, obviously. In a shared vision, there is nothing more powerful than two people that are on the same page, but there's nothing more distracting than two people that are not on the same page. There is nothing more disastrous than two people who think they're on the same page. So helping people stay aligned, ensuring that you're addressing the people aspect will drive that productivity up. It'll drive the engagement up and it will reduce attrition and low morale, which we all know low morale and attrition can negatively affect not only the organization, but the clients that we're trying to better serve anyway.

Mona Roccia:
We step back and first and foremost, we listen. So that may be a survey that says hey, a big change is coming. Do you know about it? What are your concerns? Then we assess that communication and come down to actionable items that we can work with leadership on and then communicate back. When you're dealing with the employees, stop talking about the benefits of the system to the organization. Talk to me, I'm the one that's making the difference in the seat. I'm the one doing the work. Then one of my favorite things that we do is we create what we call a change management network and those are typically the influencers. They're not really the leaders, they're the peers that I can come in and kind of vent to. The influencers typically are early adopters with the system and they get excited about the change that's going to make their role easier. So we seed those individuals with tools and clarity and understanding and send them out into their peers and say hey, just go have the conversation and make it a grassroots effort.

Mona Roccia:
When you have such a big initiative going on, you recognize your immediate management team and the core team, the people you're used to going to. But sometimes you underestimate the people that are on the front lines and the leadership that they can bring. So what's interesting is during the conversion you watch people bubble to the top where management is like where'd they come from? It's really important, which sometimes because this is new and leaders aren't always taught on how to do this, is how do you win the hearts and minds of the people? Instead of that overcoming and top down, how do I win their hearts so that I can set the framework with leadership, but they'll execute?

Mona Roccia:
Three little words that make such a huge impact and words are just so impactful and they can change things in an instant is tell me more. So if you have an employee who's going through a really hard time and they can't articulate what's going on, one of the worst things you can come in and say is, here's the answer to your problem. Here's your solution. Just go fix it. If you flip that and listen, and just say, tell me more you can find that you can come to a ultimate solution for both of you and actually build the momentum from that person because you listened.

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