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Becoming a Change Agent 
Carrie Hane Dennison 
@carriehd 
#edui_change
done it that 
way. 
Well, the way 
we do it now 
We should put 
this up because 
someone 
might want it.
True 
But 
Useless
1989 1995
250+ staff, 9 on web & social media team 
> 145,000 members - 40% over 50 & male 
Founded 1852 
Hired Web Director January...
Rewriting content 
strategically 
Updating CMS 
Revise website section by 
section 
Implementing governance 
Building on e...
CHANGE MANAGEMENT 
LEADERSHIP 
What this really is
Address emotional and 
rational sides of people
Elephant & Rider
Elephant Emotional Side 
Lazy and skittish 
Looks for instant 
gratification 
Just wants to get things 
done
Rider Rational Side 
Holds the reins & seems 
to be the leader 
Spins wheels
Directing the rider
Motivate the elephant 
Analyze-Think-Change 
See-Feel-Change
GETTING PEOPLE TO CHANGE
Strategic Nagging 
Patient but persistent repetition of a 
message
Vulnerability 
Communication 
Leadership 
Patience
Vulnerability 
Communication 
Leadership 
Patience
Vulnerability 
Communication 
Leadership 
Patience
Vulnerability 
Communication 
Leadership 
Patience
Portrait of a change agent 
Thick skinned 
Open minded 
Willing to listen 
Passionate 
Believes in expertise 
Willing to t...
WHY UX, IA, & CONTENT 
STRATEGY?
We have the skills 
Listening 
Empathy 
Organizational skills 
Analysis 
Translation 
Diplomacy 
Governance
We ask the hard questions 
What are your priorities? 
What are your business objectives? 
What do our customers want?
It's easier to ask forgiveness than 
it is to get permission. 
Grace Hopper
Only digital workers fully 
understand the problem and 
can see a solution. 
Paul Boag 
Digital Adaptation
Strategic Nagging 
PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
© Carsten ten Brink http://www.flickr.com/photos/77334245@N00/285048313
Not Us vs. Them Us + Them
Educate
Communicate
Evangelize
Define the vision
https://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/8630761583
Share your vision 
Enablers Executives 
Orchestrators 
Architects 
Practitioners 
Senior 
Manager 
Middle 
Manager 
Worker...
Celebrate short-term wins
Progress is more important than 
perfection.
DEALING WITH DETRACTORS
The best defense is a good 
offense.
http://bit.ly/badproblems
Empathize
Invite them in
Reframe
Let others speak
TAKE A SEAT AT THE TABLE
Be vulnerable
Lead the way
Recruit others
Work together
Be the man behind the curtain
Be a change leader
Where things are today 
Redesign 
Governance 
Building digital team 
Think strategically 
Think user first
For the first 
time, I feel like 
have a good 
website. 
Can I come 
up and talk 
to you 
Can we 
triage [this 
problem]?
What can you do tomorrow? 
Invite yourself to a meeting or speak up 
Talk to someone who you have never talked 
to before ...
Thank you! 
(and Good Luck!) 
Carrie Hane Dennison 
@carriehd 
http://www.slideshare.net/carriedennison
Becoming a Change Agent
Becoming a Change Agent
Becoming a Change Agent
Becoming a Change Agent
Becoming a Change Agent
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Becoming a Change Agent

Businesses want return on their web investment. To do that, user experience professionals need to step out from behind the screen, take a seat at the table, balance user and business needs, and create a positive environment for change. Armed with an approach I sometimes call “strategic nagging,” this is the story of how I became a change agent using IA and content strategy to transform the 160-year-old American Society of Civil Engineers for a digital-first world.

Let’s talk about honing the empathic, organisational, and analytical skills we already have to diffuse disruption and work with people and processes, as well as information. Patience and persistence makes our message pervasive so we can motivate decision-makers, find allies, persuade detractors, and provide direction to practitioners.

When I became ASCE’s Web Director in January 2013, I thought I’d tinker with some content management issues, help rewrite some content, and provide governance guidance. Little did I know that I would use change management tactics disguised as web strategy, design, and development to get them to adopt an overarching digital strategy to better reach its members, grow revenue, and start to make stuff that really matters. We’re reaching a pivotal moment, and this is the story so far.

Becoming a Change Agent

  1. 1. Becoming a Change Agent Carrie Hane Dennison @carriehd #edui_change
  2. 2. done it that way. Well, the way we do it now We should put this up because someone might want it.
  3. 3. True But Useless
  4. 4. 1989 1995
  5. 5. 250+ staff, 9 on web & social media team > 145,000 members - 40% over 50 & male Founded 1852 Hired Web Director January 2013
  6. 6. Rewriting content strategically Updating CMS Revise website section by section Implementing governance Building on established user experience practice What I am doing Redesigning website Introducing the concept of strategy & UX Pushing change /disrupting everything Creating a UX practice Pushing for digital strategy
  7. 7. CHANGE MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP What this really is
  8. 8. Address emotional and rational sides of people
  9. 9. Elephant & Rider
  10. 10. Elephant Emotional Side Lazy and skittish Looks for instant gratification Just wants to get things done
  11. 11. Rider Rational Side Holds the reins & seems to be the leader Spins wheels
  12. 12. Directing the rider
  13. 13. Motivate the elephant Analyze-Think-Change See-Feel-Change
  14. 14. GETTING PEOPLE TO CHANGE
  15. 15. Strategic Nagging Patient but persistent repetition of a message
  16. 16. Vulnerability Communication Leadership Patience
  17. 17. Vulnerability Communication Leadership Patience
  18. 18. Vulnerability Communication Leadership Patience
  19. 19. Vulnerability Communication Leadership Patience
  20. 20. Portrait of a change agent Thick skinned Open minded Willing to listen Passionate Believes in expertise Willing to take a seat at the table and speak up
  21. 21. WHY UX, IA, & CONTENT STRATEGY?
  22. 22. We have the skills Listening Empathy Organizational skills Analysis Translation Diplomacy Governance
  23. 23. We ask the hard questions What are your priorities? What are your business objectives? What do our customers want?
  24. 24. It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission. Grace Hopper
  25. 25. Only digital workers fully understand the problem and can see a solution. Paul Boag Digital Adaptation
  26. 26. Strategic Nagging PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
  27. 27. © Carsten ten Brink http://www.flickr.com/photos/77334245@N00/285048313
  28. 28. Not Us vs. Them Us + Them
  29. 29. Educate
  30. 30. Communicate
  31. 31. Evangelize
  32. 32. Define the vision
  33. 33. https://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/8630761583
  34. 34. Share your vision Enablers Executives Orchestrators Architects Practitioners Senior Manager Middle Manager Worker Worker Worker Middle Manager Worker Worker Worker Senior Manager Middle Manager Worker Worker Worker Middle Manager Worker Worker Worker
  35. 35. Celebrate short-term wins
  36. 36. Progress is more important than perfection.
  37. 37. DEALING WITH DETRACTORS
  38. 38. The best defense is a good offense.
  39. 39. http://bit.ly/badproblems
  40. 40. Empathize
  41. 41. Invite them in
  42. 42. Reframe
  43. 43. Let others speak
  44. 44. TAKE A SEAT AT THE TABLE
  45. 45. Be vulnerable
  46. 46. Lead the way
  47. 47. Recruit others
  48. 48. Work together
  49. 49. Be the man behind the curtain
  50. 50. Be a change leader
  51. 51. Where things are today Redesign Governance Building digital team Think strategically Think user first
  52. 52. For the first time, I feel like have a good website. Can I come up and talk to you Can we triage [this problem]?
  53. 53. What can you do tomorrow? Invite yourself to a meeting or speak up Talk to someone who you have never talked to before Ask more questions Think about where someone else is coming from
  54. 54. Thank you! (and Good Luck!) Carrie Hane Dennison @carriehd http://www.slideshare.net/carriedennison

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