The New Cluetrain

Hear, O Internet.

It has been sixteen years since our previous communication.

…and thus begins the 121 new clues, from two of the original authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto. The original manifesto, first published in 1999, had a great influence on me, and helped set the direction of much of my career since. The new clues, published this week by Doc Searls and David Weinberger, jumps us forward by 16 years to the internet that we have today. I hope you chose to read it for yourself.

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Pro Bono Change Management Consulting

I have an offer. If you are about to, or are in the process of deploying new technology within your organization, I will help you with the people and process aspects of that change at no cost. In return, I need to become fully conversant in the project specifics prior to January 31, 2015. My intent is to use the project as the basis for becoming certified in Prosci‘s ADKAR change management methodology. Upon completing the certification in mid-February, I will provide you with the change management strategy I develop during the course.Screenshot 2014-12-15 09.58.43

The Specifics

The project should be related to the deployment of a new or upgraded information system, across a significant part of your organization. This could be almost anything including an operating system upgrade, a new CRM, an ERP upgrade, new email, or (my favorite) a new collaboration system. It is typical for any of these types of changes to face resistance with respect to user adoption and stakeholder engagement. I have spent the majority of my career in this area and should be able to provide significant value to your project.

iStock_000000528370SmallThe cost on your end will be allowing me to have dedicated time with the project champion and/or project manager, prior to January 31. Probably two or three meetings or phone conversations to gather information about the project and to do a simple change readiness assessment. Total time commitment should be no more than 2-3 hours.

The deliverable for your organization will be a recommended strategy and plan of action for effective stakeholder engagement and user adoption of the new technology.

If you are interested and would like to reach me, here is my resume and contact information.

Organizational Change Management Models

How people deal with change has been an interest of mine for most of my professional career. It is now becoming the focus of my future career track. I am in the midst of doing research to be sure I am up to date on the latest research and thinking in the area. I just found this presentation that shows strengths and weaknesses of five different organizational change models. Interesting reading (if you happen to be an OD geek). :-)

I am particularly interested in the PROSCI:ADKAR model. I find it closely aligned to my own philosophy of addressing organizational change, particularly with respect to technology adoption.

Open Letter From A Technology Adoption Practitioner

You know the saying about the cure being worse than the disease? Probably the best example of that adage these days are new IT systems that are deployed across an organization with great fanfare … and no forewarning. The common results include:

  • Resistance to change
  • Low levels of user adoption
  • Not meeting predicted ROI
  • Over budget
  • Missing deployment milestones

I would be surprised if these outcomes were not familiar to you. Many IT projects are plagued with these results. One key to getting better results is to include people, culture, and process considerations along with technical specifications from the beginning of the project. Wouldn’t it be nice if the people that will be using a new system were an integral part of the design and deployment of that system? With this thought in mind, I would like to ask for your help.

I have been out of work now for more months than I care to count. Recently, I reached the point where I needed to re-evaluate what I was looking for and how I was going about it. The bottom line is that I have been shooting too broadly, hoping to connect with any position that was generally connected with my experience.

I have spent the last few weeks trying to re-focus on what I really want to do and what I do well. I want to articulate that vision in a way that an organization can see the value I bring to the table. So here it is: I am looking for situations where organizations are deploying new technology, and need help with the people and process aspects of the deployment. Studies have shown that many IT deployments fail, not for any technical reason, but because little planning or thought was put into how to engage end-users and other stakeholders in the system design and deployment. I have 20+ years experience doing just this, deploying technology so that users “get it” and willingly make the necessary changes in process and behavior to achieve desired results.iStock_000007969190Small

If you know of any organization or situation where a technology adoption specialist would be of value, please pass my resume along as appropriate. I am interested in either full-time positions or any sort of part-time/temporary/freelance situations. I am focused primarily on working in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina, but I am willing to work remotely from my home, and/or travel as necessary.


Lee White | Phone: (919) 280-5925 | Email:


Users and New Technology

There is no secret that the success of information technology projects ultimately depends on whether or not the technology gets used. If you deploy it and no one comes to play, what good has it done. Getting users engaged is a critical element of project success. Gartner pointed this out almost 10 years age in their report, “The users view of why IT projects fail”. The key to success is to have a plan for user engagement and adoption as an integral part of the overall project plan. This is not something that can be tacked on at the end “if we have some money left”.iStock_000006700207XSmall

Didier Bonnnet of Capgemini recently published and article in Harvard Business Review that is on point here. He says:

When these platforms are introduced, organizations too often focus only on deployment, not adoption. It’s remarkable how commonplace it is for leaders to lose sight of the true ROI of their digital investments.

As organizations turn more and more to technology solutions to improve efficiency and effectiveness, there needs to be increased effort put into the people and process aspects of these deployments.

Articulating the Value Proposition

Finding a new job this time has been more difficult than ever before. I am quite certain that my problem has been that I have not been focused enough on what it is that I do and defining the value I can provide to an organization. With this understanding I have taken a break from the daily scan of job listings, and worked on tryiiStock_000002883983Small_Be the first_gearsng to understand and articulate the real value I can bring to the table. I think I have finally identified my focus, technology deployment and user adoption. Pretty much every job I have had for the past 20+ years has been a variation of helping people learn new skills and change behaviors related to using new technology. There it is, that is what I do.

User Adoption Problems

Ultimately the success of any IT system boils down to, “Is it being used?”. No matter how good the ROI projections are, or how advanced the technology is, or how little it costs, if users are resistant to making necessary behavioral changes, the final result will be seen as a failure.iStock_000003953906Small

I found this post by Nuvem Consulting that details the potential issues with implementing Salesforce. For the most part these issues have nothing to do with the technology per se, but instead with human nature. Their key points for failure are:

  1. Poor communication
  2. Lack of support from executive stakeholders
  3. Resistance to change
  4. Failure to recognize that Salesforce is constantly evolving
  5. No champion
  6. Inadequate or no training
  7. Processes not clearly defined or that no longer work
  8. Poor data quality

Success of most IT projects will hinge, in part, on the people and process aspects of the deployment. Dealing with these issues requires a very different set of competencies than traditional IT project management. Including resources within any deployment initiative that are specifically focused on user adoption should be standard practice for any project.


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