A change management instructor, coach, or consultant can offer valuable expertise.
Hiring a third-party professional can offer many benefits to an organization.
However, each expert provides different solutions – and not all solutions are created equal.
Below, we’ll explore:
- Reasons to hire a third-party expert
- What types of solutions they provide
- Potential drawbacks to hiring an expert
Let’s get started with the most fundamental question:
Why Hire a Change Management Instructor or Trainer?
Third-party change management expertise can come in a few forms.
Organizations have a few options:
- Change Management Instructors – An instructor can offer on-site workshops, training sessions, or classes. Some will also teach online.
- Coaches or Trainers – Coaching is personalized, ongoing support for in-house staff. Their aim is to help employees and managers develop their own expertise.
- Consultants – Change management consultants offer expertise and knowledge, then help organizations manage and execute change projects.
These experts can offer a number of benefits:
- Teach employees about change management.
- Create or improve enterprise change capability.
- Help organizations execute change projects.
- Offer expertise on proposed or existing change programs.
For these reasons – and others – organizations turn to third-party support when engaging in change.
However, not all change experts are created equal…
Where to Find Third-Party Change Experts
There are several places to find change experts:
- Change management agencies and consultancies. These are firms that specialize in change management. For instance, the well-known firm Prosci offers consulting, advising, training, and coaching.
- Schools and universities. Universities are good places to network and engage in conversations with change experts. Though the universities typically don’t outsource their instructors, those instructors are great sources of information – and they may offer their expertise.
- LinkedIn. LinkedIn, of course, is an excellent source for discovering business experts in a wide range of fields. Change management experts can be found via search or inside dedicated groups.
- References. Another place to turn is your own network. Ask contacts whom they recommend and who they have used in the past. Also, make sure to evaluate those recommendations and do your due diligence.
- Change management associations and networks. The ACMP is one well-known example – perhaps the most well-known example – that offers access to professionals, training, certifications, and more.
Change expertise, in short, is easy to find, if you look for it.
But as you research these avenues, you will need to choose the type of service you are looking for.
Which Type of Expert Should You Hire?
As we have seen, each type of expert offers a specific change management benefit.
The key to choosing the right type of expertise is analyzing your needs and long-term goals.
Here are examples:
- Short-term project support. In some cases, an organization may be implementing a on-off project. For instance, an organization that is migrating to the cloud may only want to hire a digital change management consultant.
- Development of enterprise change capability. Growing organizations are constantly changing. They need to implement and manage multiple projects – so cultivating in-house change capacity is a must.
- Improving employee knowledge. Other organizations may evolve more slowly, but still want to understand change management. Instruction and change management certification may be a good choice for these companies.
In some cases, you may want to implement a mix of solutions – hiring a consultant and training your staff, for instance.
There are certainly benefits to hiring an outside expert.
However, is that always the right solution?
Drawbacks to Hiring Outside Support
Finally, there are some negatives to hiring a third-party change management expert.
Here are a few:
- Consultants are here one day, gone the next. A consultant can help with a specific project. But if your organization has an ongoing need for change management, you may want to consider other solutions.
- Consultants don’t know your business as well as you do. You can certainly bring them up to speed. But the fact remains that no one knows your business and your industry as well as you. This is one reason to consider hiring specialist consultants or providing in-house instruction.
- They may not be as invested in the outcome as you are. Because consultants aren’t invested in your business, they are also less invested in a project’s outcomes. They are certainly still interested in and invested in your outcomes – but not as much as if it were their own company.
- Change management instructors have to work with your staff’s level of expertise – which may not be very high. If your staff is starting at the ground floor, then they have a long way to go before becoming experts. This may be too long for some companies. After all, it takes years of experience to become an expert.
Ultimately, any solution has its pros and its cons.
It will take research and time to evaluate potential solutions and find the right choice for you.
Every organization has different needs.
And every organization has a different level of change maturity.
In some cases, hiring a change management instructor, trainer, or consultant may be the right choice.
In others, it may be wise to hire in-house experts or implement a mix of solutions.
Naturally, before making any decision, evaluate your needs and do your research into change management.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.