Leaders are looking to HR professionals to successfully navigate organizational change, but do HR professionals have the right tools? CPHR Alberta welcomes a new guide that addresses that question – especially because its author is Melanie Peacock Ph.D., MBA, CPHR. Melanie is a long-time member of CPHR Alberta, and a frequent speaker and volunteer. With a combination of direct experience and academic insight, Melanie’s expertise provides a useful – and necessary – resource for HR professionals. We caught up to her over email with a few questions:
Why did you want to write this book?
Many of my students and clients tell me that they are asked to facilitate change, but have never been given any formal training on how to do so. There is lots of information for managers, leaders and employees on how to deal with change, but HR professionals have a unique role to play during amendments and therefore need different tools and competencies. As this book is focused on, and written specifically for HR professionals facilitating change, it responds to a gap and a need in the marketplace. While grounded in theory, the book provides applicable tools for HR professionals to use when dealing with change, thereby illuminating the critical role that they play in this context. Further, the Guide is meant to be reviewed in a few readings, thereby providing an accessible yet practical resource.
How long have you been working on the Guide?
I've been teaching Change Management and working with clients on various transitions for over 10 years. Over the course of this time I took notes, wrote down ideas and learned from experiences. The actual writing of the Guide took place over a 10 month period and was the culmination of many years of thinking and lessons learned while working with others.
What’s your first reaction to change? Did it evolve while you were writing this?
As someone who is passionate about change I must admit that I'm not the first person to readily embrace it. Yes, truth be told I'm not an early adopter! Writing the Guide allowed me the opportunity to think deeply about how I can better use the tools and resources I have written about. Each Chapter concludes with questions for the reader to consider and respond to, thereby allowing HR professionals to think deeply about the ideas presented and how they can be applied to their work and yes, even personal situations.
What makes HR professionals good agents of change?
In the Guide I discuss change agents and that HR professionals often are not the greatest people to fulfill these roles Rather, they are best positioned to identify change agents and support them. Again, this highlights the unique role that HR professionals can and should take on during times of change and the Guide discusses how this can be achieved.
Do you have any advice for someone in the midst of monumental change?
In the midst of change HR professionals need to be aware, be vocal and be in touch with their own reactions to the change that is occurring. Further, facilitating change through the use of a formula as outlined in the Guide (although it may seem strange that people should be dealt with in scientific manner) enables great transitions to occur.
If you’re interested in The Human Resource Professional’s Guide to Change Management, it is available directly through Business Expert Press.
About Melanie Peacock PhD, MBA, CPHR
Melanie Peacock has almost 30 years of experience as a Human Resources Management professional. Through her own company, Double M Training & Consulting, Melanie helps clients with their complex Human Resource Management issues by developing effective and innovative solutions. As well, Melanie is an Associate Professor with the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University.
As testimony to her exceptional work within the HR profession, Melanie was recognized with CPHR Alberta's Distinguished Career Award in 2014 and was recognized in HRD magazine’s 2017 Hotlist as one of the top 30 outstanding HR practitioners in Canada.
Melanie obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree (with distinction) at the University of Alberta, her MBA from the Ivey School of Business (Western University) and her PhD (Faculty of Education) from the University of Calgary.
Book: Peacock, M.J. (2017). The human resource professional’s guide to change management. Practical tools and techniques to enact meaningful and lasting organizational change. New York, NY: Business Expert Press.