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Leading change – behaviours for project managers and change managers webinar

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At the “Leading change – behaviours for project managers and change managers” webinar on the Wednesday 11 May 2022, the panel with representatives from the People SIG, the Enabling Change SIG and the Change Management Institute (CMI) shared their thoughts with 136 attendees.

The audience was widespread, logging in from the UK, Argentina and the Cayman Islands, all of who were very interactive on the chat function and responding to the mentimeter polls. The majority of the attendees were project managers or project manager/change manager combined and mostly APM members with a smaller number from the CMI and a few that were members of both, there was high percentage of attendees that were not members of either.
The panel was made up of Mark Vincent from the APM Enabling Change SIG, Tim Lyons from the APM People SIG and Lucy Donaldson from the CMI. The session was hosted by Ian Cribbes from the APM People SIG and Lyam Crossdale, the UK co-lead for the CMI.

The discussion was based around behaviours not competencies. The session was opened with a poll on whether the participants felt that the key behaviours for leading change from a project manager or change manager perspective were the same, different or similar. From those that answered the split was 47% thought they were the same, 42% thought they were different and 11% thought they were similar. So pretty much equal on the same and different which then allowed the panelists to share their thoughts. There was some healthy debate and sharing of ideas and experiences.

The following polls asked the participants what the top three behaviours out of a possible six would they state were most important, firstly for project managers and then change managers. There was a fairly even split across the top three for both roles and the top three were the same for both, these were being collaborative, being honest, open and candid and supporting, empowering and developing others. A number of comments from the attendees were around leading with empathy which was considered to be more important for change managers (CM) but should also be a trait of project managers (PM). There were quite a few comments on whether there is a difference when the PM or CM is external to the organisation.

The session was very thought provoking and it was clear there is a correlation between the behaviours for a PM and a CM, the two need to work very much in tandem and on smaller projects a PM could cover both disciplines. There was some great interaction and feedback from the attendees. Some of the key takeaways were that change management and project management are more aligned that some people thought, how important change management is in projects and that behaviours are related to culture.

The attendees were asked what sort of topics people would like to see next from these combined APM and CMI events, we now have some topics to discuss as we plan the next one in the series.


Donna Unitt
APM Enabling Change SIG Chair



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