Bill is part of the First 500 to obtain his CCMP designation. He's also a co-founder of the New England Chapter of ACMP and recently spoke at the ACMP global conference. A busy guy, so we were fortunate to get a bit of his time to ask why he chose CCMP.
Bill, give us a brief history of your career.
I started working in this field in 1988, when I helped grow a new practice for Andersen Consulting. We originally called it “White Collar Productivity” and “Education Consulting” which gives you a sense of how much this field has changed. We eventually grew into an Organizational Change Management practice. I did a lot of work with large insurers before moving to an internal change consultant role in 1992 at Aetna, followed by Ct Mutual, MassMutual and CIGNA. In 2011 I took on an external consulting role as a CM Program and Engagement Manager for Carlisle & Gallagher, later acquired by NTT. Then, in 2013 I joined Travelers Insurance in my current role as Director of Change Leadership.
That's a lot of change in 28 years! What challenges did you face along the way?
Career agility – remaining gainfully employed while doing meaningful work in this field has been challenging. Sometimes that meant working creatively within a specific job description to keep my hand in change work, while keeping my head up looking for the next role as circumstances shifted.
My biggest learning from all this is to work as smart and hard as I can, endeavor to “do the right thing”, keep my personal brand and network alive, and have faith that things will work out right.
Why did you choose to pursue a certification with ACMP?
Through my career I’ve developed skills in project, program and portfolio management and I was very familiar with the PMP designation. The comparison to what the Project Management Institute has done for the project management discipline with the PMP certification resonated with me instantly. I felt the time was right for the CM discipline to elevate a vendor-agnostic certification that validated a CM professional’s experience and skills, and I jumped at the chance to be part of a Beta group to pioneer it!
What training did you take to meet the 21 hour requirement?
I applied my CM training/development experiences with one of ACMP's Qualified Education Providers: Implementation Management Associates. They promote the AIM approach with an intense 4-day Accreditation program (which prepares you to consult on major change efforts) and their additional 1-day Trainer Certification program (which prepares you to teach the introductory workshop for AIM practitioners in your own company).
Tell us about your experience with the essay questions and exam. How did you prepare?
First I read all the essay questions and selected 3 of the 5 I wanted to answer. I broke each question into parts that required an answer and jotted down a few words and phrases on paper as a guide, then drafted an answer to each question. I set them aside for a few days, then read my answers one after another, made a few additional edits and submitted them with my application.
How do you see CCMP impacting your career?
Having the CCMP further builds my personal “brand”. I can speak with real conviction when I describe it as a rigorous process to qualify, and that it isn’t beholden to any specific CM vendor. Recognition of the certification and its cachet will grow over time, increasing its value.
I’m proud of the achievement and have shared my accomplishment with friends, family and close colleagues at Travelers, board members of our New England Chapter of ACMP. I’ve noted it prominently in my LinkedIn profile and updated my resume to reflect it. Updating business cards will come later.
I realize I can play a part in growing the awareness of and respect for the certification, which I’m happy to do.
What will be your next adventure?
We live in a very small town in Connecticut that’s 80% undeveloped, due to designated town and state forest and reservoir land. Bears and moose are released here when found in populated areas which means lots of interactions with wildlife. While I’ve seen bears, coyotes, bobcats and even a cougar (although state and federal officials refuse to admit cougars are here), after 15 years I have yet to see a moose! I’m hoping for an encounter this summer!