In his recent essay, Professional Development of HITA (High Impact Trusted Advisor) Practitioners, Daryl Conner asks, “Why are senior officers so often peripheral players in what are supposed to be important changes? Why do change professionals seldom gain access to the C-suite level except for token executive briefings or periodic status reports? Why are so few practitioners considered High Impact resources by the most senior executives of organizations?” Given the ongoing history of inadequate change execution, these are important questions for us to address.

There is no doubt that those who are most important to the success of difficult change initiatives are the same people who typically remain unavailable for our counsel. Why? Daryl points directly at our profession as bearing some responsibility, and rightly so. As he describes:

  • We provide little education within the field regarding how to establish and maintain change practitioner relationships at this level, leaving us more prepared and more comfortable serving as tactical resources.
  • Our growing focus on certification in change fundamentals leaves those who are ready to move beyond the fundamentals with little guidance or support.
  • Despite the fact that working at senior levels presents a unique set of challenges, we offer few forums for preparing practitioners to serve our organizations’ leaders.

In closing, Daryl issues a call to action…that we as a profession offer more preparation for HITA practitioners; that we expose those in the earlier stages of their careers to the rewards of serving as a HITA; and that we hold practitioners serving at this level in higher regard. As he has for more than four decades, Daryl continues to lead the way forward for our profession.

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