Meet the Speaker: One of our Rock Star Presenters at the upcoming Change Management for Utilities Conference in San Diego.
Q: Name, title, company?
A: Shawn Silzer, Senior Manager, Consulting Solutions, E Source
Q: Family, hometown, where you live?
A: Married, no kids. I live in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada (I was born 40 miles away in a small town on the prairie).
Q: What is your Utility experience?
A: I have led teams responsible for change management at a Canadian utility as we upgraded enterprise systems like billing, smart meters, and laptops in trucks. More than 70% of the company’s staff was included in our change management strategies in some way or another. Currently, I am an E Source consultant with a focus on customer experience, and a passion for evangelizing on the importance of change management within utilities.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working? Hobbies?
A: Read the New Yorker; go to Cross-Fit classes; go scuba diving and/or freediving (not the best choices for a hobby in a land-locked area); and in the winter time, I am part of a weekly curling league (yes, I know it is a cliché Canadian activity, but it is fun)!
Q: Notable achievements?
A: Just received my CX professional designation. Married to the same woman for 20 years (my parents must be paying her to stay, I can only assume).
Q: Where do you see Change Management in utilities in two years?
A: It will be embedded in project teams, not siloed in HR or communications departments. Executives will see its value without having to be convinced, and insist that all project managers are change experts. It may not be called change management, per se, but everyone will practice. it.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: Being patient. There’s so much to do, I want to get going yesterday on everything.
Q: What did you do prior to your current role?
A: I led communications, marketing, and change teams a Canadian electric utility. I also led a $200 million smart meter deployment project.
Q: Who are a couple of your role models (and why)?
A: Bob Dylan, because he was never afraid to try something new and go against the grain. My father, because he is fearless and always makes time to offer me an encouraging word when I need it most.
Q: What is one of your big goals?
A: To live in New Zealand for a year and go scuba diving and/or freediving every day.
Q: What is the biggest misconception you run into in your role?
A: The biggest misconception I encounter is that utility employees believe change management must be executed in a very narrow and prescriptive way. I believe there are many paths to change management success. I spend a lot of time helping folks past their preconceived notions that change management means forcing their staff to “drink the Kool-Aid” or follow a singular path. Change management is most powerful when it is customized to your utility and its culture (and that’s not as difficult as many think it is).