Monthly Archives

May 2022

Engaging Leadership to Enable Change: Questions to Ask and Tools to Adopt

By | Change Management | No Comments

“Leadership engagement is complex, has many moving parts, and involves more than just the current project.”

We talk a lot about how leadership must be engaged for change to occur, but such engagement happens less than we would like or need. Why is that you might ask?


  • it is because leadership’s value in the change process hasn’t been tied to measures of success
  • these measures don’t exist
  • they don’t understand their role and what they are accountable for in managing change.
  • they don’t understand the impact / value of their role on the project
  • they don’t understand the value of the project to the organization
  • they don’t understand the impact of the change on their people
  • they don’t understand OCM
  • they don’t have the time (real or perceived) and they don’t see it as a priority

Wow! That’s a lot of “Maybes”.

How can we reduce this list a bit and target potential fixes to increase leadership’s engagement in the change process?

Answering the following questions can provide a good start.


So now what? While you may now better understand some of the underlying causes of leadership’s lack of engagement and the questions to ask to assess engagement , how do we increase engagement and ensure sustainable change among leadership? Let’s look at some of the more common solutions.

Ensure that any external consultant you hire is fully committed to educating and engaging leaders in every phase of the project.

  • Ensure that key documents are developed to serve multiple audiences and provide both project management and leadership with an early warning system that identifies points of resistance, go/no-go progress, and risks.
  • During the consultant selection process, ask the external consultants specifically how they engage and educate leadership.

Treat leadership as a partner rather than a customer.

  • Ensure the project team involves leadership in the development of the OCM measures of success.
  • Involve leadership in a transparent and active governance process that includes a multi-step go/no-go sign off process.
  • Ensure communication with leadership that includes a discussion of risk.
  • As part of the consultant selection process, ensure that external consultants have a track record of “straight talk” to leadership.
  • Ensure governance meetings are short, have repeatable agendas, and, most importantly, include transparent discussions and recommendations.
  • Define specific and measurable roles and responsibilities for leadership in managing change. Ensure these roles and responsibilities are updated as the project matures.

Understand the timing and ranking of leadership’s competing priorities.

  • Develop a leadership calendar to ensure the team understands the priorities and the availability of each leader.
  • Involve leadership in the process to ensure their initiatives are integrated at the “desk level”.

Resist the urge to provide leadership with mere talking points as the fulfillment of their communication responsibilities.

  • Prepare leadership with context to understand the impacts and timing of the changes to their teams.

I hope that this blog serves as a practical guide in how to ensure the active engagement of leadership throughout the change process.

Leadership engagement is complex, has many moving parts, and involves more than just the current project.

And while we can use tools (like the ones outlined here) to guide us, they are simply tools. They help us combine our experience with an understanding of the specifics of your organization’s changes. They define and focus our efforts. In addition, external consultants have limitations that require them to uniquely partner with internal resources e.g., Corporate Communications, HR, leadership, and internal change resources to name a few.


We would like to talk with you about how we’ve enabled organizations and leadership to create effective and sustainable change. Please call us or send an email to We’d love to hear from you.



The CARA Group Named to Training Industry, Inc. 2022 Custom Content Development Watch List

By | Announcements | No Comments

The CARA Group is honored to be named to Training Industry, Inc’s 2022 Custom Content Development Watch List.

“We are proud to be recognized by Training Industry, Inc., as we believe this award speaks to our ability to understand the unique needs of each client, and design, manage, and deliver best-in-class solutions to drive workforce performance,” said Michelle Reid-Powell, CARA President and CEO.

Tom Whelan, Director of corporate research at Training Industry, Inc. had this to say regarding these Watch Lists1: “The emerging companies chosen for our Custom Content Development Watch List create a learning environment with their comprehensive solutions to align with business objectives,” said Tom Whelan, director of corporate research at Training Industry, Inc. “These companies create this learning environment through developing engaging content with the latest learning technologies in gamification, eLearning and virtual training.”

Contact us to learn more how CARA can partner with you to help you achieve your learning goals.


About The CARA Group

The CARA Group is a consulting firm focused on change management, learning, and communications solutions that enable the workforce of the future. Our unparalleled commitment to the success of our clients and consultants makes CARA solutions unique.

About Training Industry, Inc.

Training Industry ( is the most trusted source of information on the business of learning. Our authority is built on deep ties with more than 450 expert contributors who share insights and actionable information with their peers. Training Industry’s courses, live events, articles, magazine, webinars, podcast, research and reports generate more than 10 million industry interactions each year, while the Top 20 Training Companies Lists help business leaders find the right training partners.


  1. Training Industry 2022 Custom Content Development award press release




We Are Thrilled to Welcome Maureen Heideman and Gary Krukar to CARA!

By | Announcements | No Comments

The CARA Group is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to the Project Solutions team: Maureen Heideman, Senior Solutions Consultant, and Gary Krukar, Engagement Manager, effective March 2022. Maureen and Gary will report to Melissa Noonan, Senior Director, Project Solutions.

“I am excited that both Maureen and Gary are officially part of the broader CARA team”, said Melissa. “Their skills, expertise and contributions will be critical to positioning CARA for continued growth and our ability to offer increased value to our clients through CARA’s project solutions.”

Maureen Heideman

Maureen is a solutions consultant and instructional designer who has worked with Fortune 500 clients and government agencies to create interactive training solutions that balance training, performance support, assessment, coaching, critical thinking, and refection to encourage high-level transfer of learning.

As a learning lead in instructional design, Maureen has been recognized with four Brandon Hall awards.

Gary Krukar

Gary is a hands-on practitioner, consultant, and manager with over 25 years of experience. He has provided instructional analysis, design and development, project management, and process improvement consulting services to a variety of clients in many industries, embracing change and encouraging growth through knowledge sharing along the way.

Throughout his career, Gary has successfully managed, coached, and led others to design, develop, and implement learning solutions that drive human performance and successful business outcomes.

Announcing Our 2022 Q1 PURE Award Winner

By | Announcements, PURE Award Winners | No Comments

We are pleased to announce our latest winner of the PURE Service Award: Mike Schroer.

Mike, an Organizational Change Management Strategist, has been working with his current client since November 2020 and was brought in to work with the change management team during the company’s largest acquisition to date.

The client had this to say about Mike: Mike is a vital resource on my Change Management team. His incredible work ethic, diligent note taking, and depth of change management skill have been a key asset to the team for several global projects. Mike is the definition of a team player and keeps me and the other Change Management team members on track. We have been fortunate to have Mike on our team for the past several years and he is the “PM to the CM Team”. He is responsible for helping to execute our end-to-end Change Management strategies across two global projects: Journey to [S4]Hana and now Operating Model Integration. These strategic projects require the highest level of Change Management diligence, impacting thousands of employees, and many core processes and systems. It’s good that Mike grew up with sisters because, being one of the few male team members, he always brings a new perspective and a bit of humor. Not only is Mike helping to execute the Change Management strategies, he also stepped up when one of my team members left the organization. Mike did double duty by also leading Change Management for Manufacturing and Quality Assurance global process areas. Mike is so deserving of the CARA PURE award and exemplifies each of the values. His work is invaluable to our team.

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.