The “People Side” of Change Management: MHVC Partners with Prosci®

Training for Change Management Practitioner Certification was “impactful.” A total of 19 participants from 14 partner organizations, including hospitals, behavioral health providers, rehabilitation services, and community-based organizations (CBOs), attended a three-day experiential development program to learn how to apply a holistic change management methodology and toolset to a real project. MHVC partnered with Prosci® to offer the certification program. With the success of the training, MHVC is already planning next steps, according to Maria Gerena, MHVC Workforce Development Manager.

The program was designed for those responsible for driving change or process improvement initiatives. “Prosci’s® structured three-phase change management process focuses on the ‘people side’ of change, and is researched-based, easy-to-apply, and scalable,” said Joan Chaya, MHVC Director of Workforce Development and Management. “We also wanted a hands-on experience for participants, who were required to bring an organizational change initiative, project, or process improvement plan to work on in class.”

Change management is inextricably connected to business results, and good results always include an understanding of the impact of the change on people. Steve Bush, Prosci Master Instructor, took participants through the three phases of change: Phase I, preparing for change; Phase II, managing change; and Phase III, reinforcing change. He explained that it is imperative to understand why the change is being made, what is changing, who will be changing, and what change looks like for participants’ projects. Since change management was new to many participants, most of whom were project managers, Bush introduced the topics based on what they already knew. “You wouldn’t start a project without tools,” he said. He framed the training as a new tool, which made it more accessible. The key learning: “You can’t implement change without thinking about the individual.”

“This was an amazing program, much more robust and interactive  than I expected,” said Bernadette Amicucci, DNS, FNP-BC, CNE, Director of Clinical Education for White Plains Hospital. “I didn’t know a lot about change management before, so focusing on the ‘people side’ made it exciting to learn about and appreciate the relevance of the program.” She continued, “The pre-work on our project was very engaging, and helped me see that I used some of these concepts before, and when I did, it was much more impactful and it does indeed make a difference.”

Amicucci brought her White Plains Hospital LGBTQ Education Project to the training, and her presentation further inspired Amanda Moody, CPBA, Program Manager for HRHCare, Inc., who attended with Kathy Brieger, Chief of Patient Experience and Staff Development, since HRHCare is considering a similar project.

“We see that launching a new program for the organization at the macro level will trigger individual, departmental, team, and health center changes,” said Moody. “A lot of the time we don’t factor in people’s emotions, or if we do we don’t acknowledge them. I now have tangible tools and tactics to manage based on the ‘biggest supporter’ or ‘the biggest resistor.’ People are going to be impacted so let’s not underplay that — we need to be strategic about it.”

In addition to applying the training to their projects, participants are already disseminating the learning throughout their respective organizations. Amicucci is sharing the techniques in the hospital’s Leadership Boot Camp. She is also developing a customized training in order to spread the word throughout the organization. Moody and Brieger immediately took the training to their CEO. “Beyond applying the lessons to our existing projects, we wanted to share the tools as best practices with other staff in the organization,” Moody said. “We are also thinking about how to formalize the learning so the knowledge doesn’t stay with the two of us. I can’t overstate how impactful this was for us.”

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