Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Comparing notes


An acquaintenance and I were interviewed for the same job.

Both of us are well qualified for it; he's geographically closer to the work site so I think the nod will go - if it goes to either of us - to my acquaintenance.

Since we've known each other for a number of years, we have been comparing notes from the interviews.

Some of our thoughts tend to give pause.

First, my acquaintenance was invited to a face-to-face interview - at his expense (air fare, lodging, local transportation, meals). I was allowed a telephone interview - at my expense. My interview took less than half-an-hour (28 minutes, to be exact). I hope my acquaintenance got closer to his money's worth of interview time.

Both of us were interviewed by people we were given to believe are business continuity people. Neither, as far as we can ascertain, would be the successful candidate's manager. Were we interviewed by people who will report to us? Will they be our peers? Why wasn't the hiring manager at least participating in the interview?

The lead interviewer made it clear that the winning candidate would be no more than "supplemental" staff (vs. consultants) and paid accordingly. Translation: the practitioner will have no leverage to accomplish anything, although the practitioner will be expected to accomplish a great deal.

The interviewers asked us if we had any "change management" experience. We do, but just how did the interviewers define "change management?"

In ERM terms - my terms - change management means managing changes to the program and its documentation. "Change management" in IT-speak is, basically "check out - check in" of code that hopefully is fully exercised before going operational.

No, for the two interviewers, "change management" means changing the organization's perception of risk management, In other words, marketing and education. I don't have a formal "process" or "program" to accomplish this, although I suspect my acquaintenance probably does have such a document in his kit bag.

We were told a decision would be made by the Friday of the interview week and conveyed to the sundry agents representing us and, we suspect, several others.

Monday arrived and my acquaintenance checked with his agent. No response.

Tuesday, same story.

I have a suspicious mind.

My suspicion is, based on the "change management" requirement, the lack of management involvement in the interviews, and the delayed response, is that despite allegedly having 800-pound gorillas supporting risk management, in truth there is little respect for the practice and, I fear, developing same - the change management - will be a long uphill battle that has little chance of success.

I understand there is some "add/move/delete" actions going on at the very senior management level - yesterday's org chart already is outdated. It seems to this practitioner that with management - management that will need to be on board to make "change management" work - in flux, perhaps the requisition, interviews, and decision should be put off until the dust settles.

Right now, taking a job with this organization - which will require more than a little travel - seems like an unnecessary risk.

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