The Secret to Success: Change Management (Part 2/2)
The Secret to Success: Change Management (Part 2/2)
The Secret to Success: Change Management (Part 2/2)
By Lorri Rowlandson, SVP, Strategy & Innovation

See Part 1 of 2 here!

During the five years I’ve spent at BGIS, we have doubled in size TWICE and are on track to double again. I constantly marvel at the level of growth we undergo as a company. This means at BGIS we need to be especially great with Change Management. In 2017, we launched the Change Management Program Centre of Excellence (COE) to support our internal employees with change.

Every BGIS employee gets support at mastering change management – we work for an exciting dynamic growing company, and we’re always going to be that way. We’re driven to make a difference for our customers and our planet. If you’ve ever heard CEO Gord Hicks speak, you know that we are absolutely driven to grow and improve in every way because it’s deep in our culture right from the top.

Change how you work, don't change what you do

“In recent years, the level of change at BGIS has increased exponentially,” says Michael Schirmer, Director of the Change Management Office at BGIS. “Although we invest heavily in the project management of change initiatives, we have learned that if those impacted don’t change how they do their job, then it doesn’t really matter what we implement. We won’t achieve what we set out to do in the first place. The Change Management COE was established to build change management as a core competency within BGIS, in turn creating a key enabler for our organizational agility and hence, our continued growth.” says Michael Schirmer, Director, Change Management Office, BGIS.

In addition, we support our clients with Change Management through our Workplace Solutions team. We educate our clients’ employees in different ways of working, and equip them with the knowledge they need to be productive and successful in alternative work environments.

Where personal meets professional

Change impacts can be more pronounced in a workplace because unlike a process change, workplace is personal. Any failed change can result in…

  • cynicism
  • deterioration of trust & confidence
  • impacts to motivation, and
  • impacts to engagement.

“If you are seeking to change other people, or corporate cultures, then you need to first look at the underlying beliefs of the people you are seeking to change,” says Alison Spence, Managing Partner, BGIS Workplace Solutions. “Then, you need to understand and respect how they see themselves and how they want to see themselves in the future. By helping them to become what they want to be, it will be easier to effect the change that you want to see, rather than policing what people do.”

Inspire the change

At BGIS, Change Management is a competitive differentiator. We practice it internally through a center of excellence, and even advise our clients on change management. We had to get good at change because of BGIS’s dynamic nature. We have been successful in implementing large transitions and acquisitions because we are diligent in our focus on change.

Change Management is an area the BGIS Leadership team continues to invest and place value because in the end, it’s how we help our employees and our clients succeed. But we can’t do it alone. We all need to take responsibility for becoming warriors of change - learn about it, and get good at it.

Lorri's Book Recommendations

  • Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions by Holger Rathgeber and John Kotter
  • Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires by Tim Brown
  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • Leading Change: An Action Plan from the World's Foremost Expert on by John Kotter
  • Making Sense of Change Management by Esther Cameron


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