Change you can believe in!

“Change officer for change management for the Client Competence Centres” was to be my first assignment for ORMIT, at BNP Paribas Fortis. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the first questions at my intake interview went as follows: “what are the most important things in change management?”. 

Strangely enough, the question did come as a surprise to me and so, without much thinking, I suggested that having a clear vision and a solid planning  were crucial. Change management and project management are two different worlds however. The people world versus the technical world. And so although the answer I gave is not entirely false, I soon discovered that I had forgotten the two things that change management is all about: people and communication.

People and communication indeed. If you want a short description of what I’ve been up to the past 6 months, those two words pretty much sum it up. Creating presentations, FAQ’s, intranet pages, e-learnings, etc. to inform but also to win over and convince people was my day to day job. The introduction of the Client Competence Centres brought along some major changes for a lot of different stakeholders such as the branches, co-workers of the back-offices at BNP Paribas Fortis and even the customers. This meant that a lot needed to be communicated to a lot of different people. People with different backgrounds, different incentives and interests and obviously each impacted in another way. In other words, a lot of different things to think about when making proposals for communication material. Unfortunately, there was (almost) no way to reuse previously made material for other stakeholders.

What surprised me most is that my outside view was really appreciated. Even though it was only my very first assignment, my opinion mattered and I felt like a true partner of the team. I was able to have a substantial impact.

I think it should have become clear that I learned a great deal on change management, and especially on the need for it if you want to bring your project to the finish line successfully. And talking about ‘learning’, it wouldn’t be fair not to mention that thanks to my mentor and coach I have received a great insight in what my strengths and working points are.

The personal development can now truly begin!

Lennert Vierendeels

Management Trainee at ORMIT
Projects @ ORMIT
- Demand Planning Project Team at Axalta Coating Systems
- Change Officer at BNP Paribas Fortis

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