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March 2022

2022 Business Trends Shaping OCM Value

By Change Management No Comments

It’s early 2022. Time to pull out the old crystal ball and predict how the practice of Organization Change Management (OCM) will need to adapt to ensure successful change.

Before we do, however, let’s take a minute and define what we mean by OCM and how specifically it adds measurable value to organizations.

OCM Defined

OCM is a framework for managing the “people” side of change. The “people” side of change refers to the willingness, and ability, of people to learn and apply new skills, adopt to changes in the organization (e.g. operating model), changes in technology and processes, and new ways of working (e.g. collaboration).


I think it is safe to say that all organizations go through change and, for the ones that don’t, history tells us they ultimately die. So, what does this have to do with OCM’s future and its value?

OCM’s value is found in two distinct areas.

  1. Acceleration in the speed to which an organization adapts to change. New processes and technologies come to mind here. The time it takes for the workforce to learn and apply new skills is commonly called “the learning curve.” Shrinking the learning curve involves shortening the time to learn and apply new skills, and results in limiting the productivity loss that occurs with every change. The faster we can get to the future state the more quickly we can realize its benefits.
  2. Sustaining the benefits associated with the change. Oddly enough, we refer to this as sustainability and is driven by consistent change in behavior. An example of behavior change: Employees who work in an agile environment and collaborate, ask for help, and work with less than perfect information. Behavior change might also include eliminating the continued use of manual workarounds where a new technology is built on automation.

How does this help us understand the value of and predict trends in OCM? OCM is more than just a set of tools and methods. It is an integral part of the larger solution. It contributes to, and enables the success of, initiatives. As such, we are going to take a practical approach that first, identifies business trends (e.g., the impact of COVID-19, agile teams, strategic transformation), and second, identifies the OCM approach that best accelerates and ensures sustainability of the change.

Let’s get started:

McKinsey and Forbes predict 2022 will be a significant year for business change. I have summarized these, as well as other, predictions in the diagram below as well as the OCM response and respective value-added trends.


Wait! Before moving on you might be asking: isn’t the measurement of the success of OCM a trend? Why isn’t it included in the above? Good question! And an important one. We have chosen not to add it at this time as it is becoming standard fare. Having said that, we can now use data from measurement activities to assess and target OCM issues before they derail an initiative. We’ll cover this in detail as part of an upcoming blog.

So, what’s next?

We hope you found this article thought provoking and, more importantly, helpful in identifying areas where your OCM efforts can accelerate sustainable business value for your organization in 2022.

While our plan is to utilize our blog to take a deeper dive, provide examples, and case studies for each of the OCM responses above, please feel free to reach out to us as well at We’d love to help you tailor your OCM program to your specific business changes and accelerate your business success.


GARTNER: Businesses Move a Majority of their Applications to the Cloud

DELOITTE: Business’s Take a Transformational (multi year) View of their Business

FORBES: Significant Changes to the Operating Model

McKINSEY AND COMPANY: Significant Changes to the Operating Model

McKINSEY AND COMPANY: Significant Changes to the Operating Model

KORN FERRY: Workforce of the Future

FORBES: An Agile Approach to the Business Continue to Gain Popularity

DELOITTE: Continuation of Active Merger and Acquisition Activity

PWC: Ensuring productivity during COVID, Managing through Inflation, and labor shortages



Announcing Our 2021 Q4 PURE Award Winner

By Announcements, PURE Award Winners No Comments

We are pleased to announce our latest winner of the PURE Service Award: Cathy Hosek.

Cathy, an Instructional Design consultant, was initially brought in to assist our Office of the CIO client in developing a return to office plan. Due to COVID-19, however, that project was delayed and Cathy was charged with overseeing a software training project and supporting change management communications for a single sign-on framework initiative between and among the client and partner organizations. Cathy’s responsibilities ranged from content outline to finalization to rollout of training.

The client had this to day about Cathy: “Cathy is a calm, reassuring and knowledgeable facilitator. Even better, she has become the system expert, helping our end users work with the vendor and our internal tech lead to answer questions and to make sure changes make it into the training right away. Thank you Cathy! We really appreciate your hard work.”

CARA’s PURE Service Program provides a unique way to measure success and evaluate how well our consultants’ service delivery meets our clients’ needs. CARA’s service delivery process is based on the PURE service philosophy and consultants are reviewed quarterly based on how well they demonstrate our PURE values: Professionalism, Understanding, Responsibility and Excellence. CARA’s consultants are nominated based on client feedback, PURE evaluations, and team interaction with the consultants. After careful consideration of each candidate, CARA selects the PURE award recipients. The PURE award program is the foundation of CARA’s culture, aligning us with our clients’ and consultants’ values in service excellence.

Break The Bias: Reflections on International Women’s Day 2022

By Change Management, Communications, Learning No Comments

The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #BreaktheBias. Bias is tricky, often an unconscious, knee-jerk response to the unknown. It is perpetuated by culture, those unspoken assumptions of one group about another. Bias manifests itself as the thousand paper cuts of language itself, embedded in words and phrases so familiar they may not appear at first to contribute to equality’s cause of death. So how do we “break” bias?

If, at its core, bias originates in ignorance and fear, the natural antidote must be knowledge and compassion. When confronted with bias, we have a choice to respond by asking ourselves, “What did I just learn from this experience so that I can prevent it in the future?” When called out on our own unintended linguistic offenses (parents of teenagers know what I’m talking about), we can admit our ignorance, say, “Thank you – I’m learning,” and do our best to show it.

At The CARA Group, we have a motto: “Change, Learn, Grow”. This reflects the services we provide to our clients. It also describes our aspirations for the CARA culture. Being open to change means admitting that we don’t get better by staying the same. Having a learning culture means acknowledging that mistakes are inevitable. That growth is an individual and a group process that requires commitment, focus, and time. To #BreaktheBias requires a commitment to “Change, Learn, Grow”, to take the small individual steps that together become a giant leap for mankind humanity. (See what I did there?)

In honor of International Women’s Day 2022, let us take a moment to acknowledge the women of Ukraine, where the battle that is being fought is one of survival. In Ukraine, IWD has been a public holiday for decades. As we take the day to recommit to “Change, Learn, Grow” in our local communities, let us also honor these women who will not have the chance to celebrate. One only need to witness their strength and resilience to #BreaktheBias about what a woman can do.


We Are Thrilled to Welcome Sheryl James to CARA!

By Announcements No Comments

The CARA Group is pleased to announce the hiring of Sheryl James to the position of Account Executive. In this role, Sheryl is responsible for creating customized learning, change management, and communications solutions for her client portfolio.

“Sheryl’s extensive sales background will be a valuable asset as she integrates her professional expertise into our Account Executive team”, said Barry Larson, Director, Sales and Solutions. “We are very excited to have her join CARA to help us expand our footprint across the Midwest.”

Sheryl, with a passion for consultative sales and performance management, has built her career on developing exceptional client relationships and creating customized solutions to consistently exceed client expectations. She comes to CARA with over 20 years of global management consulting, learning and development, and performance improvement experience at Accenture (Andersen Consulting), Baxter, Ceridian, and MB Financial Bank. As a strategic advisor, she has partnered with senior executives to create custom solutions to reduce cost, improve efficiencies, increase employee effectiveness, and catapult customer service levels.

Sheryl is a published author, motivational speaker, and Certified Professional Coach. She has an International MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird), studied in Paris at the Sorbonne, and lived/worked in nine different countries in Western Europe. Sheryl’s personal passions are family, faith, travel, and cooking.