SK First Nations Preparing for Change

With the pending introduction of a Federal First Nations Child-Well Being Legislation the Saskatchewan First Nations Child and Family Services and Community Prevention Programs have decided to proactively prepare for change.   

On January 22, 23 & 24, 2019, the Managing Change workshop was delivered by the Queen’s University IRC and hosted by SFNFCI in Saskatoon that brought First Nations Child and Family Services Executive Directors in Saskatchewan along with representatives from First Nations Community Prevention Programs, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, SFNFCI, and Indigenous Services Canada Saskatchewan region to learn skills and obtain tools on addressing change opportunities. 

Participants in the 3-day training learned about different approaches to change, along with their change-style and how it can impact an initiative.

Photo Below: Learners did a change style indicator survey to find out what their change style is on a continuum from Conserver to Pragmater to Originator.

Key Learnings included:

  1. Change is a team sport that requires a lot of strategic and effective two-way communication between planners and implementers. Finding a credible leader is crucial for success.  A transparent and strong vision is necessary for people to understand their role in the change and how to participate. 

  2. Resistance is energy – it can be positive or negative.  Trust is critical for a change initiative to move forward and important for building and maintaining relationships.  Learning how to respond to resistors and understanding why the resistance is occurring can help a change team better communicate and/or change their change approach.  Having honest and sometimes difficult conversations about competencies and risks is necessary to have in the planning stage and while evaluating milestones along the change process. 

  3. There is a change curve that often shows a dip in performance, efficiencies, and effectiveness. This occurs as it takes time for people to learn and apply new skills. 

Participants received tools to help map stakeholder needs to better understand how to address them.  Other tools provided helped participants learn how to assess the scope of a change project and determine an approach to implement the project.  Many other tools were also introduced to help enhance communication. 

The workshop ended with a simulation exercise where all participants had to put their learning to the test. 

Photo Below: Teams working on a simulation change project

When asked how this training session will benefit the learner/organization, Mark Reyes, Prevention Coordinator from Okanese First Nation stated,

“Help to manage the project and direction which it will go for benefit of families and my community.”

We would like to thank Kate and Stephanie from Queen's University IRC for coming to Saskatoon in January to deliver the training. 

The 10 Vital Statistics about Change Implementation:  90% of strategies fail to be carried out successfully

Top reasons include:

  1. Gaining support and action

  2. Communicating the change effectively and efficiently

  3. Overcoming resistance from staff

  4. Support for senior management

  5. Aligning processes

  6. Tracing success of the implementation

  7. Changing rewards and recognition

  8. Acquiring customer/client feedback

  9. Implementing new technology

  10. Acquiring a budget

(Source: Bridges Business Consultancy)

The Saskatchewan First Nations Child and Family Services Agencies, First Nations Community Prevention Programs, FSIN, ISC, and SFNFCI are looking forward to the change opportunities coming our way and feel well equipped to plan, lead and implement change projects as we move forward during this exciting time in child-well being.

Tischa Mason, Executive Director

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *