In his recent essay, Professional Development of HITA (High Impact Trusted Advisor) Practitioners, Daryl Conner asks, “Why are senior officers so often peripheral players in what are supposed to be important changes? Why do change professionals seldom gain access to the C-suite level except for token executive briefings or periodic status reports? Why are so few practitioners considered High Impact resources by the most senior executives of organizations?” Given the ongoing history of inadequate change execution, these are important questions for us to address.
There is no doubt that those who are most important to the success of difficult change initiatives are the same people who typically remain unavailable for our counsel. Why? Daryl points directly at our profession as bearing some responsibility, and rightly so. As he describes:
- We provide little education within the field regarding how to establish and maintain change practitioner relationships at this level, leaving us more prepared and more comfortable serving as tactical resources.
- Our growing focus on certification in change fundamentals leaves those who are ready to move beyond the fundamentals with little guidance or support.
- Despite the fact that working at senior levels presents a unique set of challenges, we offer few forums for preparing practitioners to serve our organizations’ leaders.
In closing, Daryl issues a call to action…that we as a profession offer more preparation for HITA practitioners; that we expose those in the earlier stages of their careers to the rewards of serving as a HITA; and that we hold practitioners serving at this level in higher regard. As he has for more than four decades, Daryl continues to lead the way forward for our profession.
Brian Gorman is the Managing Editor of Change Management Review™. In this capacity he regularly curates articles of importance to our readership; contributes original writing; hosts podcasts; and works with guest authors.
For more than five decades Brian has been engaged in—and a student of—change at the personal, organizational, and societal levels. During this time, he has worked with both individuals and organizations (ranging from solo practitioners to Fortune 100 businesses), guiding them through a wide array of challenges. Decades of experience have given him a deep appreciation of the universal patterns that underlie successfully navigating even the most difficult changes.
In addition to his work as our Managing Editor, Brian is a transformation coach, supporting both individual and organizational change. Brian is committed to passing his “lessons learned” on to others, so that their change journeys can advance more smoothly. He is a frequent workshop facilitator and public speaker. Brian is the author of “The Hero and the Sherpa,” a chapter in the online Handbook of Personal and Organizational Transformation (Springer Publishing; Judi Neal, Editor). He also has an extensive library of blog posts, articles, and videos on the change journey, including “The Ten Most Important Lessons I Have Learned Over 50 Years of Engaging Change.”
Mr. Gorman’s formal education includes a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Syracuse University, an MA in Higher Education Administration from the University of Texas, San Antonio and an MA in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma.
Brian is an International Coach Federation (ICF) certified coach, and is an active member in the New York City chapter. Brian is also a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and the Gay Coaches Alliance.
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