There is NO substitute for experience
I've noticed that organizational change practitioners really really really want to learn!
That's good. Because managing organizational change is NOT for amateurs.
"When it comes to managing organizational change, there is no substitute for experiential learning." - Dr. E.J. Sarma
There is much to know about organizational change. There are theories (e.g. Kurt Lewin's force field analysis) and models (e.g. John Kotter's eight steps). There is research (e.g. Argyris) and best practices (e.g. Prosci).
But as good as they are, that is all in the head.
I have said in the past that the most important credential for anyone practicing in this arena is that they MUST have direct and personal experience of organizational change.
Otherwise how could they possibly know what people are going through?
Having gone through a major change in an organization (e.g. a merger, an acquisition, a downsizing), the practitioner will know it in her gut and in her heart.
With such a personalized and internalized knowing, the truly experienced organizational change and development practitioner will be ready and able to guide others through the skerries of change.
Terrence Seamon is a seasoned organizational change and development practitioner. Follow him on twitter @tseamon, and on facebook Facilitation Solutions.