Analyst? Practitioner? Professional?

Hi, Everyone!

While I was at the ASTD Expo in San Francisco, an attendee stopped by our ChangeWorks booth and asked me an interesting question: “What do people who use the ChangeGrid in their work call themselves?”  As it turns out, she was a branding expert determined to sell me some series of seminars on the subject — but it DID get me thinking!

While you probably just refer to yourself as the role you serve — coach, consultant, counselor, trainer, etc. — her question was really specific to the label WE apply to someone who uses the ChangeGrid.  I said, “Even though some are ChangeWorks Analysts or ChangeWorks Trainers, we generally refer to everyone as ChangeWorks Practitioners or even more generically, ChangeWorks Professionals.”

Well the look on her face was either a) exceptionally well-rehearsed or b) a spontaneous visceral response just this side of projectile vomiting.  Either way, it wasn’t positive!

Since I knew (and honor the fact) that she’s in the business of selling her services, I struck up a little deal with her — I would read her ChangeGrid in exchange for her advice on the matter.  She agreed — and subsequently shared that in her opinion, the labels we used were “sterile and detached from the client.”   She felt that the titles focused on “what you have accomplished for yourselves rather than on what you accomplish for your clients — who you ARE instead of what you DO.”  She thought they “carried an air of superiority that placed a barrier where you should be building bridges.”

Well, at that point, I can only say I was VERY relieved I hadn’t asked for her opinion on my hairstyle or the tie I had chosen for the evening!  So before she turned her focus to ME, I hurried to ask, “So what do you think we should call ourselves?”

She simply said, “ChangeWorkers! Because THAT is what you ARE — AND what you DO!”

So what do you all think of that?  Please post your opinion here as a comment — or jot me an email.



11 Responses to Analyst? Practitioner? Professional?

  1. This is interesting. She does have a point. However, if we adopt her idea we should add to it depending on the population or target market we serve. For example: Organizational Change Worker or Team Change Worker. Or we can simply use Professional Change Worker.

    We could also call ourselves “Gods of Change.”

  2. Carol Champagne says:

    ChangeWorkers sounds a little too close to the CA woo-woo: LightWorkers for my taste. perhaps the target audience would prefer some moniker that indicates a modicum of expertise?

  3. It’s interesting to learn about this experience in that many marketers are stressing the importance of demonstrating and highlighting your expertise. Perhaps there is some value in her observations but I’m not sure it’s always that important based on the needs of the target markets.

  4. Nancy Dadami says:

    A great point and something to consider. After all we are all about appealing to the client in a way that speaks to them. ChangeWorker is bit out there for the corporate world. Remember they want to be in control and the idea of changeworker may appear to the clients as loosing control. Of course we are change agents whether they realize it or not.

  5. I agree that in a corporate setting, Practitioner/Analyst/Trainer would probably be better received — but I will admit that when I’m writing blog entries or something else intended as an internal document, “ChangeWorker” does save a lot of keystrokes! Ultimately, everyone is going to use whatever label they believe is most appropriate for what they do and for whom they do it — and that’s exactly as it should be.

    When I graduated from massage school many years ago, I was a bit mortified to learn that my official designation was “Intuitive Bodyworker” — and as someone who focused exclusively on athletes (primarily competitive bodybuilders) I knew THAT title would NOT have been well-received. So I chose “Sports Massage Therapist” and stuck with it!

  6. Dave Miller says:

    I don’t care for the term “ChangeWorker” at all. It reminds me of “Factory Worker.” Nothing against factory workers but it’s not the image I want to convey in a corporate setting about the work we do.

    I think the person is putting way too much weight on titles. In the end, people don’t care about titles. It’s what you do for them that counts. You’ll ultimately be judged by the results you help them receive.

    That being said, so far, my favorites are “ChangeWorks Professional”, “ChangeWorks Consultant” or “ChangeWorks Coach.” In the cases where you can put “certified” in front of it, even better.

  7. Jayne Garrett says:

    Interesting thought T. I was recently asked if I was a Changeologist? Hmmm, food for thought. I am interested to hear from others. Branding can be powerful if done correctly. Happy Day~~Jayne

  8. Dave Miller says:

    By the way, I saw on a forum someone referred to themselves as an “MBTI Master Practitioner.” Food for though in terms of what others are doing.

  9. John Hadley says:

    I agree with Dave – titles aren’t the core of any effective marketing message. In my own business, I rarely refer to my title, and never use it in my “elevator pitch”, because what people care about is the results I can produce and the problems I can solve, not what I call myself.

    That said, I’m not keen on “practioner” in a title anyway. I think Dave’s options are good ones for when we must use a title (say, on a business card).

  10. Barbara says:

    I’m with Dave – I don’t like the “Changeworker” moniker. I suspect that none of us use that term with any other assessment or tool that we’re certified in – such as “DiSC Worker” or “Hogan Worker” – Quite frankly I think it’s a little silly! While the implication of helping people change is a little more expansive than using one tool, I don’t think it’s useful – at least for me. I also like Dave’s other options – much more professional and in keeping with the overall approach I take in my work. (Surely it doesn’t have anything to do with what “gen – X/Y/etc.” I am??)

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