Building Change Capability for Tomorrow
October 8, 2012
by ExperiencePoint

“We just go too fast sometimes!” 
– Mary Ann Lusk, Senior Director Business Operations DeVry Inc.

The world in which we live and work isn’t slowing down.  Organizations are challenged to change “what they do” at an unprecedented rate.  In response, many leading organizations like DeVry Inc. are innovating “how they do it”. 

DeVry Inc. adopted the ExperienceChange simulation to accelerate their buy-in process and innovate their change approach to better meet the demands of a rapidly changing environment.

Facing Change

Known globally for graduate and undergraduate career-oriented programs, DeVry was embarking on several company-wide changes.  Centered around providing superior and responsive student services, these strategic initiatives ranged from streamlining response times to student inquiries to revamping their student admissions processes.

Were employees ready for these changes?  Mary Ann Lusk, Senior Director Business Operations at DeVry shares: “We were not dealing with change well – during a recent change initiative roll out, we only trained employees on the system change but missed the impact on culture, team structure and daily work life.  We were looking to do things differently this time around.”

Doing Things Differently

DeVry partnered with MDA Leadership Consulting to build the internal capacity for leading and managing change, which included MDA’s Leading Sustainable Change™ model, change tools, and skill building for change agents and their teams. The ExperienceChange simulation was used to accelerate change teams understanding of the why’s, what’s and how’s of change management prior to creating their change plan.

“What was most liked by our teams was that the ExperienceChange simulation was as close to real life as possible.  Stakeholder buy-in was based on several real life factors including timing, budget, and stakeholder resistance level.”
– Susan Clarine, Talent Management, DeVry Inc.

Putting It Into Practice

ExperienceChange gave the Business Operations and PMO project teams focused practice with change tools and techniques to jumpstart their initiative. The take-aways have been around understanding what the change is, and understanding which key stakeholders must be involved.

The outcome of these efforts?  A formalized process for change. This process has allowed the project teams to come together more effectively, and as a result, become higher performing teams.

Consistency is Key

The goal at DeVry is to have a consistent and shared approach to change that will result in alignment across the organization. To date, the entire project management office has been through this process and the group is already realizing the benefits.  They have begun to champion this philosophy and are now integrating their knowledge via other projects throughout the organization.

“As a Project Manager, it is now much easier for me to implement change.  I am able to focus on the execution instead of trying to determine the right messaging and if it is effective.  It has helped me be more proactive instead of reactive.”
– Travis Scruggs, Project Manager DeVry Inc.

DeVry is tackling change and innovating “how they do it”.  The result is that new initiatives are implemented more efficiently and the definition of roles and responsibilities within teams has become clearer.  This allows for greater accountability, which happens to be one of DeVry’s core “TEACH” values. In today’s environment of unprecedented change, DeVry now has the cultural strength and change “know how” to rise to the challenge.

“Change for us has become a full involvement process- this is a culture shift that we will continue to benefit from.” 
– Mary Ann Lusk, Senior Director Business Operations DeVry Inc.

DeVry’s purpose is to empower its students to achieve their educational and career goals. DeVry is a global provider of educational services and the parent organization of Advanced Academics, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Becker Professional Education, Carrington College, Carrington College California, Chamberlain College of Nursing, DeVry Brasil, DeVry University, and Ross University Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. DeVry institutions offer a wide array of programs in business, healthcare and technology. DeVry serves students in secondary through postsecondary education as well as professionals in accounting and finance.

MDA Leadership Consulting is a leadership consultancy providing change leaders with the process, tools, and skills needed to implement successful change.