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Learning Leader

Lessons of a Learning Leader.
'Lest I missed anything in my youth' (Alexander von Humboldt)

The Value of Change Management to Projects and Programmes

Posted: November 17th, 2014 by pearcemayfield

Patrick Mayfield discusses Leading Change in a VUCA enviroment

This presentation was first given at the APMG-International Showcase in Bangalore, India.

Changing Landscape of Change Management

Posted: November 16th, 2014 by Patrick Mayfield

© Syda Productions -

© Syda Productions –

It sometimes feels like everything is subject to change. Ironically, this now seems to be true of the field of change management itself. We are about see a major sea change in the key qualification in change management.

Until now the major certified training for Change Management in the UK has been the accreditation based upon Cameron and Green’s Making Sense of Change Management. This book (MSOCM) has served many of us well. Practitioners have come to this subject from a number of different backgrounds, and the book has largely done what its title says: it has helped us make sense of change management. The authors insist that the search for a unified method of change management is a vain quest; reality is far more complex. It defies humans’ behaviour being reduced in such a way.

Where’s the Road Map?

This may be true, but nevertheless, this leaves change leaders with a problem: where is the road map? Also, the curriculum based upon MSOCM is patchy and laden with references to multiple authors. On occasions the authors speak positively, but lightly, of someone’s contributions to the field, but leave us guessing as to what the practical take-away for a change manager might be.

In fairness, Cameron and Green never aimed for their work to be primarily a qualifications source book. So there are some bumps with the level of detail and richness of examples.

New Kid on the Block

The Effective Change Manager's Handbook

The Effective Change Manager’s Handbook

The news is that MSOCM will be replaced for this qualification by a new book: The Effective Change Manager’s Handbook (ECMH). (Self-disclosure: I wrote one of the chapters.) This latest work is itself based upon the Change Management Institute’s Body of Knowledge. (See my earlier post: Change Management in Miniature .) I have no great appetite for bodies of knowledge in general, but I found this BoK  useful and stimulating. Further, the work to write the subsequent ECMH was co-sponsored by APMG International in partnership with the Change Management Institute. APMG International, has announced that MSOCM will be replaced by the new reference work before the end of 2014, with a new curriculum and set of exam papers to boot. Accredited training in line with this will be available through us in January next year.

Overall, I’m glad of this development. It puts some serious support behind the vital role of change leaders and change agents. This as an area of growing felt need among our clients, and we are already setting in place other proven approaches to support them.

My early assessment is that the new curriculum will add some much-needed strength and guidance to critical practice areas such as overcoming change resistance, the levers of change, and sustaining the outcomes of change.

Refreshed Solutions in 2015

From 2015 we will also provide a re-registration to the new book for our existing change management graduates, as well as offering our clients a range of help in their difficult changes. My conviction is that this is weakest link in the value ladder, the place where organisations fall short in realising the benefits from their investment in projects. If we can improve transition management in all its guises, it can have a huge effect in back-end outcomes.

Watch this space.

Question of the Month (November 2014)

Posted: November 16th, 2014 by pearcemayfield

Question from a ‘war-weary’ IT Director: “We are attempting to integrate two organizational units with disparate IT systems and processes.  Our systems analysts have discovered quite a lot of information but ownership is sketchy and there are few diagrams to help.  Any suggestions?”

images (4)

Richard Rose, Pearcemayfield Director and Consultant Trainer replies:


Richard Rose

It seems to me that OBASHI®, a business modelling method that both business and ‘techies’ can use is relevant here. If you are running your ship under the ITIL® best practice approach to IT Service Management, you may well have a configuration management database holding a lot of the underlying information required to populate the bottom layers of an OBASHI Business and IT diagram (see below).  However, your concerns about ownership are answered by the top two layers (Ownership and Business Processes).  The other layers are Applications, Systems, Hardware and Infrastructure – hence the method is called OBASHI.

Placing the elements above or below each other within the framework signifies a relationship between the elements. For example, placing an Owner element above a Business Process element signifies that the business processes belongs to that owner. Placing a business process above an application signifies that the process uses that application etc…

Elements can then be connected on the Business and IT diagram to denote a physical relationship, such as the connection between a piece of hardware and an infrastructure element. Building up a set of pictures in this way (possibly on multiple OBASHI diagrams) helps you describe the organization and get the ‘Big Picture’.  Once you have the big picture of all your assets, processes and their ownership, you then have the opportunity to use the diagrams for analysis and will be able to identify duplication, redundancy and latency of any of the elements within the enterprise.

I would advise your systems analysts to document their findings in the form of these diagrams – even if it merely serves the purpose of mapping the technology before they hand it on to your business analysts or process analysts to draw the picture together at the top level.

By the way, these Business and IT diagrams have an even more useful purpose in the realm of organizational change as they represent the current blueprint or operating model of the business.  The future model can then be designed and compared with the current model to identify the capabilities and projects required to deliver the future state.

– Richard

You can connect with Richard on LinkedIn and don’t forget you can win a free e-copy of Patrick’s Mayfield’s Book Practical People Engagement (PPE) worth £24.38 if your question is featured.

You can ask us your questions here  or go to our OBASHI page for more information.


OBASHI® is a registered trade mark of APM Group Limited | ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited

Make Use of Your Training Budgets

Posted: November 10th, 2014 by pearcemayfield



  • Are you taking care of your continuing personal development?
  • Are you taking ownership of your learning and growth; keeping your knowledge and skills up to date?
  • Are you looking to save money on your training?

If your answers are YES then a pearcemayfield TRAINING SEASON TICKET could be exactly what you need! The individual Season Ticket means that you can make savings of up to 25% on standard course prices. It costs £2195 + VAT, is valid for 12 months from date of purchase, includes all course materials and gives you 10 days of training on any of our acclaimed courses, to be used in any combination that you choose. If you are interested in purchasing an individual season ticket, or would like to talk further about your needs and our extensive training products portfolio, please contact us or call us now on 01235 227252.




Do you need to make your Corporate Training Budget stretch a little further? The exclusive Platinum Club gives our Corporate Clients access to an agreed amount of training days over a twelve month period and offers significant savings on our published tariff. Choose from two levels of membership: PLATINUM 100 – 100 days of training for just £19,995, valid for 12 months, with saving you  over 30% PLATINUM 50 – 50 days of training for only £10,795, valid for 12 months with savings you more than 25% For more information or to join our Platinum Club please  please contact us or call us now on 01235 227252.

White Paper – Organising Yourself More Effectively (OYME)

Posted: November 1st, 2014 by Adrian Boorman

Contents of the Paper




Pearcemayfield is now offering the bespoke Organising Yourself More Effectively package to all its clients and we believe that this remarkable workshop is a valuable investment in both individuals and organizations. Please click here for more information If this is of interest to you.

How We Help You…

Posted: October 14th, 2014 by pearcemayfield

How we can help you explore your options, understand your problems better, recommend solutions or just be there to execute projects on your behalf.

How can we help you

Your Life as a Work-in-Progress

Posted: October 1st, 2014 by Patrick Mayfield

writingLast week I was speaking at a project management conference in Prague. I received a warm welcome and met some very switched-on practitioners. As a result my presentation on the Behaviours of High Performers seemed to resonate with most of the 180 or so delegates there.

At the end of the morning I was invited to join the speaker panel where questions were open to the audience. As the panel session drew to an end someone asked me a very pertinent question:

“You laid our four behaviours you observed in high performers. Which one is the most important?”

Good question.

I had toured the conference through:

  1. Personal Margins
  2. Leaning to Action
  3. Leaning to People
  4. Self-Awareness.

I explained that each of these four were not independent of each other, so the question was a good one. Some behaviours drive the rest. If you held a gun to my head I would choose one. The behaviour, or better still the habit, that drives all the others is, I believe, Self-Awareness.

The practice of self-awareness is where I stand back from myself and my results and observe my thought processes, and where could I improve my approach the next time around. If I were to regard myself as an Agile project, then it would be a kind of personal retrospective at the end of a sprint. I have learned to be curious about myself, and about the evidence of my performance. I ask myself such questions as: “What did I learn from that? What results were driven by what I did or by circumstances? What could I have done better? What should I stop doing? What if I had done the opposite? Next time round, when could or should I schedule the preparatory work? Is there a checklist for this situation that I can now develop?” and so on.

I now do something like this as routine when I journal, and I journal almost daily. I believe it is making me better at what I do.

Daniel Goleman and others have identified this all-too-infrequent practice of self-awareness as the bedrock of emotional intelligence; that quality that separates high performers from the rest, that separates us from animals driven purely by instinct.

So, do yourself a favour. Treat yourself like a work-in-progress. Be kind to yourself when you fail or get a less-than-brilliant result. But above all, learn from it, and adapt.

Question of the Month (August)

Posted: August 15th, 2014 by pearcemayfield

Q: “What language should we use internally to introduce Programme Management practice?”

images (4)

Richard Rose, Director of Finance and Information for pearcemayfield replies:


If we are to consider the language to be used in introducing programme management from a top-down approach, you need to bear in mind the strategic or portfolio view which focuses on organizational capabilities, benefits to be derived and the strategic objectives to be satisfied.  In this context programmes may be seen as co-ordinating business-led change across a number of initiatives to achieve a strategic goal, which at board level would make perfect sense.

However, if we are to consider the question from within a programme environment you should not forget that programmes focus on delivering benefits to the organization and you would be well advised to steer clear of technical jargon at programme level.  The key to delivering programmes successfully is to engage with the organizational units for whom the change is being introduced.  By adopting their language and engaging empathetically with the business stakeholders, the programme manager (and therefore the programme) will gain far greater credibility with those who will undergo the transformation activities.  This in turn will drive up the probability of success.

‘Techno-speak’ should be left to the project teams when they deliver the outputs and enablers for the programme as it is at this level that the technical details are ironed out.  However, the technological solutions need to be translated into operational terms for the organization which is where the business change manager’s role steps into the fray.

All-in-all it doesn’t matter from which perspective you view programme management because the constant factor is operating seamlessly with the business.

If you would like to explore what our Managing  Successful Programmes products can deliver for you then please do get in touch  with us.  I believe that pearcemayfield is uniquely placed to offer you the very best of programme management support available in today’s marketplace with courses  designed by one of the MSP 2007 edition chapter authors, Patrick Mayfield.

Whatever your needs, from accredited training to Foundation, Practitioner or even Advanced Practitioner level to senior management briefings for those who face the challenge of taking their organisations to new levels of performance as well as prioritising investment in projects,  we can help.  We even offer a one day overview, designed for anyone involved in an MSP programme to provide a basic appreciation of the main features and terms of MSP.

I hope to have the pleasure of working with you in the future.

– Richard

Don’t forget you can win a free ecopy of Patrick’s new Book Practical People Engagement (PPE) worth £24.38 if your question gets featured by us.You can ask us your questions here


Question of the Month: Can I run Agile without a team?

Posted: July 15th, 2014 by Patrick Mayfield

This question was raised by an IT analyst at a global bank this month. His team had been using Agile approaches but had dwindled in numbers until now only he remained. He had posed the question to a trainer who said, “No.”

Let’s look at this a little more closely.

If you approach Agile working as a system of practices, roles, processes, techniques and artefacts, then I would agree. How can you have a Scrum of one? Where is the self-organizing team?

However, if you approach Agile as a mindset, a way of attacking your work, then I would disagree with the trainer. I use Agile all the time in my own personal organization. It is possible to scale Agile down to just yourself.

Let me give just three examples:

  1. PomodoroTimeboxing. I use a variety of pomodoro apps on my laptop and tablet. When I am doing specifically creative work, I protect myself from distractions and, as far as possible, from interruptions, set the pomodoro timer and chunk the work up into a series of, well, sprints. This simple technique has helped me to focus and really does make more productive. You can find more about the pomodoro technique here



  2. My Personal Kanban using Trello

    My Personal Kanban using Trello

    Personal Kanban. Strictly speaking, Kanban originates from Lean, but kanban boards have been enthusiastically adopted by many Agile teams. Jim Benson has written an excellent book on this, and the personal kanban is regularly the most popular technique people take away from our Organizing Yourself More Effectively (OYME) workshop. I use Trello on my laptop and iPad. I like the way can “pull” work from my “To Do” column, and I’m getter better at knowing and limiting my “Doing” bandwidth.

  3. Next Steps. Equivalent to elements in a product backlog, I favour David Allen’s guideline of the 20-minute rule: break tasks down to 20-minute chunks; do the next one, and if it takes not more than 20 minutes it is practically actinable in my working day.

So when you approach Agile as a mindset, there is every reason to say, “Yes” to solo Agile working.

If you are interested in learning more and improving your productivity, we run a powerful OYME workshop.

Change Management in Miniature

Posted: July 14th, 2014 by Patrick Mayfield

The Effective Change Manager's Handbook

The Effective Change Manager’s Handbook

The last year has been a season of publishing for me. September 2013 saw the launch of my first solo book, Practical People Engagement. This led to it being adopted as the core reference for APMG-International’s new Stakeholder Engagement Certification. Copies are shipping very well. People seem genuinely appreciative of its style and content.

SE Workshops

And I’ve just come out of leading a series of Stakeholder Engagement Workshops in the UK and France, that also use the book as its reference. Leaning to People is one of the key behaviours emerging from our research into high performers and we major on this in the workshop. I find it fascinating as I work with clients on ways to develop this behaviour. It is a competence area that each of needs to consciously own and develop for ourselves.

The Effective Change Manager’s Handbook

A few months ago Richard Smith approached me asking if I would like to write a chapter on Stakeholder Strategy in a book about to be published by Kogan Page called The Effective Change Manager’s Handbook. This book is based upon the Change Management Institute’s Body of Knowledge, which was published last year. APMG-International sponsored the project, with the intention that this Handbook will become the core reference for future certification in Change Management.

Having read through the other contributions, I have found it has shaped up to become quite a powerful, extensive resource, with a strong coherence across all the facets of change management. Due to be published on 3rd November this year, you can pre-order your copy of the Handbook now through Amazon. I’m honoured to be part of this work.

Driving Up Benefits

For my part, I’ve come at this whole field from a programme and project management perspective. I worked on the 1997 edition of Managing Successful Programmes, and in particular authored the chapter on Leadership and Stakeholder Engagement. It clarified for me the absolutely central contribution of influencing people through relationships. Taking issue with the movie The Field of Dreams, we can build it, but they won’t necessarily come. In fact, it is well documented that there is to this day, much successful delivery that ultimately yields zero benefit. What a waste. Strong leadership and influencing skills not only enables better delivery but also drives up value from the investment through better adoption by the customer. Benefits realization only really kicks in on the back of strong senior and business-side leadership.

Others have come at this subject of organizational change management from different directions. Some, such as Richard Smith and my colleague Mark Withers have come at this from an Organizational Development perspective, where projects are merely necessarily vehicles as part of a wider strategic agenda. Others come at the subject from business analysis or employee engagement perspectives. Whatever our departure point, many of us meet around this subject of change management.

Emerging Profession

When Richard Smith spoke at the recent APMG-International Showcase in Westminster about the new Handbook he described change management as an emergent profession. In Australia and New Zealand, in particular, job titles with ‘Change Manager’ in them are rising.

I work as a synthesizer of different management fields. I look for patterns and transferable lessons from one field to another. So this emerging coherence and appreciation for change management makes perfect sense to me. We need to break down silos of thinking, jargon and communication within organizations – particularly between technology innovators and operations people – so that we get the best results. As Peter Senge argued, we need Network Leaders, people who work on the fringes of the different tribes within our businesses. These functional walls are often past their sell-by dates anyway, and owe more to out-of-date old-school thinking.

 Purposeful Conversations

ECMH Authors gather with Richard Pharro, APMG-International

ECMH Authors gather with Richard Pharro, APMG-International

The authors of the Handbook gathered after the Showcase. It was the first time I had met some of the others. I had a blast talking with people like Ranjit Sidhu, Una McGarvie and Robert Cole. These were deep conversations with like-minded people from slightly different fields and diverse experiences. I’d like to think that this is much of what is the power of change management: purposeful conversations.

As for my chapter, I’ve laid out the proposition that engaging stakeholder is the essence of change management. Shrink it down. It could be two people talking where there is an outcome; they agree to do things differently. It is organizational change management in miniature.