Change Management Keynote Speaker
I see it all of the time in my work as a change management keynote speaker. Unless you’re segueing into a David Bowie sing-a-long (“Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!”), your team probably isn’t thrilled when they hear the words, “We’re going to be making some changes.”
Sure, we all know change can be a good thing. Without it, Walmart would still be a 5-and-Dime, Amazon would just be a rainforest, and Keanu Reeves would still be trapped in the Matrix.
In business and in life, change is an exciting and necessary part of staying ahead of the curve.
But transition can also be frightening and frustrating. We tend to assume the worst, even when we know why shifts are happening and how carefully they were planned.
Based on my experience and research in management and organizational psychology, there are 3 main types of change, which I address as a change management keynote speaker.
The Three Main Types of Change.
A change in process can improve performance and streamline workload. But for many team members who are comfortable with the old process, the time and energy needed to learn a new way of doing things can seem to outweigh the benefits of the change.
Changes in personnel are part of doing business—maybe you’re growing and need to expand, or your long-time CEO is retiring. In either case, many team members and investors will feel more nervous than excited about the transition.
A change in systems can sometimes be a semi-annual occurrence for many businesses. Software is constantly evolving, and companies often host huge user conferences to help roll out updates or new systems. Software is a part of our everyday lives, and a big change can be like waking up in someone else’s pajamas: confusing and uncomfortable.
Change. It happens.
Change happens in every industry. Sometimes you’re leading it. Other times you might be a liaison, implementing someone else’s recommendations or policies. In either case, chances are you’re the one who will hear about it if people aren’t happy with the new model.
Whatever transition is taking place, the real challenge is managing the emotional response of the people who are affected. You want to maintain and grow the confidence of your staff and shareholders, and that means getting them to buy into the changes you’re making.
What do I do as a change management keynote speaker?
As a professional change management keynote speaker, I address the human element of change. I know that the fastest way to get someone to accept a transition is to recognize and respond to their emotional output.
I also know that there’s no better place to engage people than a fun, face-to-face setting. Your next conference or meeting is an opportunity to address change and introduce a new perspective. Even if you’re just looking for a lighthearted message from a keynote speaker to unify your team or raise the energy in the room after a long lunch, or perhaps particularly dry presentation (somebody speaking monotone about
“The Science of Shipping Fruit: E=mc Pears,” for example), finding an engaging speaker shows your audience you appreciate and understand their concerns.
What Kind of Keynote Speaker Do You Need?
Change can be especially challenging in industries which are constantly in states of flux, like healthcare, pharmaceuticals, insurance, finance, and digital marketing, just to name a few. There’s always a new process or system to learn. And like Superman with a calculator, it can quickly add up.
To help facilitate change and get the buy-in of your users, investors, and team members, you need a change management keynote speaker who can deliver a fun, entertaining message.
It’s not possible for any keynote speaker to completely shift a company’s culture in an hour-long keynote. But the right keynote speaker can help even the most reluctant group engage with the topic and think about it in a new way. And when everyone is working toward the same goal, you can get there faster.
Tim O’Shea: The Agent of Change
As a change management keynote speaker, I help organizations overcome resistance to change by providing entertaining and valuable insights on human behavior and why we respond to change the way we do.
Specifically, I talk about the reactions and thought patterns we’re all hard-wired to have during times of change, and how those thinking habits can interfere with our ability to stay focused and make good decisions.
Of course, I’d be the target of snarling looks aplenty if I just came in and told your audience they’re thinking is wrong…that would be foolish (and as John Cleese said, “I may be an idiot, but I’m no fool.”). That’s why I use audience engagement to show your audience how maladaptive thinking habits can work their way into how we react, and respond, to change.
I then provide a practical, applicable method people can use to navigate and reframe worrisome or defensive thoughts and emotions. Instead of telling your team to look at things differently, I show them how to do it and why it’s important (both for the organization and in their own lives).
When we can see how we react to small changes in a fun setting, we can apply those learnings to our professional communication and performance.
Why am I qualified as a keynote speaker to talk about change?
First, I’ve experienced change myself, both personally and professionally…everything from surviving agonizing, drawn-out company mergers to simply having to decide it’s time for new socks. On top of that, I’m a human behavior specialist with 17 years of corporate experience (nearly a decade of those in HR, management, and organizational psychology), with additional certifications and training in tactical, intelligence, and law enforcement techniques.
I’ve been a professional speaker since the early 2000s. I’ve spent the last decade in particular researching and studying change—why it happens, how people react to it, and the best ways to implement it.
Change is a normal part of business—why should we hire an outside keynote speaker?
You’re absolutely right: change is a part of business! Just look at the results from the latest U.S. CEO Survey conducted by KPMG:
- 2 out of 3 CEOs are worried their business isn’t doing enough to disrupt current business models.
- 9 out of 10 CEOs are concerned about customer loyalty. But less than half believe they’re adapting quickly enough to keep up with customer expectations.
- 2 out of 3 CEOs are turning to new partnerships for a competitive edge. They are also looking to acquire new technologies.
- 4 out of 10 CEOs believe their organization is going to transition into a significantly different entity.
These aren’t small adjustments, like a new coffee pot or building renovations. These are big ideas which require changes to processes, personnel, and the systems your team uses every day.
Investing in change management now can reduce costs and boost revenue by increasing the speed and effectiveness of a transition and ensuring you meet projected goals. With the right strategy, you can:
- Increase productivity and quality of work
- Reduce loss of valued personnel and customers
- Establish a history of successfully implemented changes to increase confidence
- Boost morale and reduce stress or fatigue
- Keep projects or roll-outs on schedule
- Reach efficiency, revenue, and market-share goals
Projects with “excellent” change management in place are six times more likely to meet objectives than projects with “poor” strategies and guidance in place, according to an analysis of 2,700 change practitioners.
How do you tailor your presentation to fit different industries?
My messaging and content remains consistent with each audience to whom I present. But I will acknowledge certain issues of significance to a particular group if it is appropriate to do so. Most importantly, I address the human component and how we respond to change; I have found these dynamics are universal, regardless of the specific shifts taking place. Whichever the case, I always do a pre-conference phone call. I want to find out what you need. I want to know what changes have been taking place in your organization and industry.
In some cases, I may even recommend one of my other keynotes as a way to address specific changes or groups within your organization:
- “Change Never Dies! Overcoming Resistance to Change”
- “Lead Another Day: Keys to Effective Leadership”
- “Licence To Team: Work Together To Achieve Success”
Booking Your Event
Do you need an engaging, reliable, change management keynote speaker to help address change in your organization or industry?
I’ve presented for audiences of all sizes. Some are small conferences of 100-200 people. Some are large conventions with 1500-2000 in the crowd.