April 2018

Navigating Complexity: Implementing Change in Unpredictable Times

Status: This seminar has been cancelled due to low registration.
Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Time: 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM: Registration and Continental Breakfast 
8:30 AM - 4:40 PM: Navigating Complexity: Implementing Change In Unpredictable Times 
Location: Vancouver, BC
Presenter: Gary Wong, P.Eng., MBA
Gary Wong & Associates 
Credit: 7 Formal Professional Development Hours (PDH)
Cost: Early Bird Price Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member: $399.00 + GST = $418.95 until Mar 21, 2018

Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member and EIT/GIT Regular Price: $459.00 + GST = $481.95

Non-Member Price: $459.00 + GST = $481.95

Student Member Price: $229.50 + GST = $240.98
Please Note: *A minimum number of registrations are needed by March 21, 2018 to proceed with this seminar. Please register early to avoid cancellation.
**All prices are subject to applicable taxes.
Contact: Julie Killin | Project Coordinator, Member Services
Direct: 604.558.6656
Toll Free: 1.888.430.8035 ext.6656
Email: [email protected]
Change transformations are characterized as being top-driven, aggressive, and hugely disruptive. Numerous surveys cite around 70% is the likely rate of failure for these kinds of programs. While it's easy to blame people resisting change, we put the fault on the approach taken. This session will present an evolutionary rather than a transformational approach to implementing change. This alternative recognizes real world complexity, unexpected variations in working conditions, and deploys a model that focuses on building resilience and sustainability.

Seminar Description

There are many models available to those looking to implement change within their organization. Several view organizations as a machine and its people as components. These models outline a linear staged-process: evaluate readiness, design a strategy, develop a plan, execute the plan, close the project. The common beliefs are that idealistic future goals and objectives can be defined, gaps will be closed by changing processes, introducing technology, adjusting worker behaviour, and driving performance using metrics. They assume that the future can be reasonably and rationally predicted.

But what if the change outcome you desire faces complexity in terms of future uncertainty, turbulence, hidden conflicts, deep mistrust? Deploying an inappropriate change method can lead to the emergence of unintended negative consequences and increase the likelihood of change initiative failure. We must appreciate why we cannot ignore, manage, simplify, nor control complexity; rather, our plans need to absorb and navigate through it.

A traditional change initiative typically begins with a big launch and expires when the funding runs out. The evolutionary approach consciously starts small and scales by shaping the organization’s culture.

The prime message in this session on implementing change is to make sense and influence the evolutionary potential of the present rather than invest heavily in a future that one faithfully hopes will materialize.

Learning Objectives

After the session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand why different thinking is required in the 21st century.
  • Determine what appropriate change strategy to develop, and
  • Learn how to use three tools to implement change: narrative inquiry, data visualization and safe-to-fail experiments.

Target Audience

Engineering and geoscience professionals and associates involved in implementing change or being impacted by a change initiative.


Gary Wong, P.Eng., MBA

Gary Wong & Associates

Gary Wong has over 40 years of experience starting with his career at BC Hydro where he worked in engineering, line operations, business consulting, and training roles. He later joined Ernst & Young Consulting (now Capgemini Consulting) as a Senior Manager in Strategy and Transformation. During his association with the global consulting firm he acted as a lead practitioner for change management in Canada and the local knowledge management coordinator in the Vancouver office.

Gary has operated his own independent consulting practice over the past decade. He also is a FranklinCovey training consultant for programs such as the 7 Habit of Highly Effective People. As an accredited training partner with Cognitive-Edge Inc., Gary co-developed and co-delivers a 2-day complexity-based course, “Creating & Leading a Resilient Safety Culture.”

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