The Practitioner of Change™ (POC™) process is an extended learning process specifically focused on developing organization development and change competency in your organization. Three primary elements form the foundation of the learning journey: a 360° Feedback Process, 15 learning days comprised of 5 Core Sessions of 3 days each, and an Applied Learning Project.

Since its inception in 1993, POC™ has continued to evolve in order to build critical skills of HR practitioners that support organizations as they continue to transition HR functions into business partnering and strategy-setting roles. We now have more than 400 POC™ graduates, from 25 different organizations in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australia.

Why Practitioner of Change™?

The Practitioner of Change™ process is designed to:

  • Meet the increasing demand for organizations to align their HR functions with their business needs and priorities, and
  • Meet the demand for HR professionals to have and use strong business skills inside their organization and to partner with their business clients.

POC™ is a comprehensive, transformational and practical approach to developing critical competencies for in-house practitioners and consultants. Participants are exposed to a wide variety of models, practices and applications to help them become a top performing contributor and ultimately, to strengthen their organization.

POC™ Vision, Purpose and Goals

The vision of POC™ is to repeatedly deliver “a learning journey…beyond the words”. So far, we’ve been successful in continuously doing this. The Practitioner of Change™ is intended to be transformational; to strengthen you as a practitioner and to strengthen your organization. Competing from the inside out…building the organization capability required within organization walls so that you don’t have to seek these skills and competencies externally.

The Practitioner of Change™ purpose is to build your internal consulting, partnering and organization skills. It is not just about learning how to develop your organizations or about guiding change--it’s about YOU, and your presence as a practitioner. It’s about what you know and what you do that ultimately results in your ability to consult in a meaningful way in organizations.

  • Create significant internal capability in individuals and their organizations through deep, practical learning.
  • Bring integrated, strategic learning into the workplace that increases individual and organizational effectiveness by designing and leading a community-based, extended, learning process.
  • Build depth in the individual and collective knowledge and application of organization development and improvement practices through a community based, extended learning process.

The Practitioner of Change™ is an integrated approach to learning that weaves theory and practice right into the learning community. As part of a learning community, participants commit to actively engaging in all core and workshop sessions. The successful participant must complete all pre-work for sessions, plan and carry out an individual learning project of his/her choice and contribute to the design and implementation of an action learning group change project.

POC™ develops you as a value-added business partner able to influence and respond to the ongoing needs in organizations of today.

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POC™ Development Outcomes and Metrics

There are many intended outcomes achieved by investing in building Practitioners of Change™ in your organization. These include:

  • Significant measurable internal development of organizational capability through the development of individuals.
  • Practitioners who are competent and confident in their own ability to work as organization developers and business partners to influence business outcomes.
  • Demonstrated practitioner tools, techniques, processes and materials to be able to design and respond to the diverse needs of client groups; to consult internally in a way that makes a difference and to influence business success.
  • Development of a community of practitioners with shared mindset, mutual accountability and capacity for collaboration.

We use hard and soft metrics. The Practitioner of Change™ learning design is based on an extensive competency framework. Participants complete a comprehensive Competency Self-Assessment prior to the learning journey. Upon completion, they complete an After Self-assessment, and are invited to solicit feedback and input from others. We measure:

  • Pre and post competency shifts (individual and consolidated by organization) by individual, learning group and through 360° feedback.
  • Action learning team project metrics are developed and reviewed throughout the process.
  • Comprehensive workshop feedback is gathered and consolidated electronically after each core session.
  • Participant and client anecdotal feedback is tracked.

In our most current POC™ community, the project manager’s goal was to recoup the learning costs through the work of the action learning teams. In the project managers own words “we wildly exceeded our expectations and with the consulting dollars saved as a result of the work completed by the action learning teams, we not only covered the costs of POC™, we have enough to sponsor a second POC™ community”. We work with sponsoring clients to ensure the work of the action learning teams is relevant and successful. We believe learning happens through success.

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POC™ Process Overview

The Practitioner of Change™ is an integrated approach to learning that weaves theory and practice right into the learning community. As part of a learning community, participants commit to actively engaging in all core and workshop sessions. The successful participant must complete all pre-work for sessions, participate in all core sessions, demonstrate and document application of the learning and contribute to the design and implementation of a learning group change project.

One time registration fees cover all session delivery which includes at least two senior consultants, comprehensive workbook materials and practitioner guides. All core sessions are held in an off-site facility. Travel and residential costs are the responsibility of the participant or sponsoring organization and are negotiated by Converge. All attempts are made to keep residential costs as reasonable as possible.

Four primary elements form the foundation of the learning journey:

360° Feedback Process
The Practitioner of Change™ process is built upon a comprehensive competency model which is reflected in a 360° feedback process. There are three levels of input: self, feedback from learning group members, and from clients and co-workers.

Core Session Pre-Work
Upon registration, each participant will receive a registration and pre-work package that includes selected pre-reading and questions to complete prior to the program launch. Each core session is supported with pre-reading, extensive workshop materials, application guides and in-session application.

Core Sessions
The learning journey is comprised of fifteen days total (5 core three-day sessions), held off-site, in a residential setting every six to eight weeks. All learning sessions consist of pre-reading and pre-work, experiential learning and group and community development application. The core sessions are designed for adults and combine theory with practice, knowledge with skill building and themselves, become learning labs. Concepts and theories are tested throughout the development of the learning community. As such, the design is intricately integrated, with each core session building off the last. As a learning lab, participants have a first hand opportunity to examine and explore organizational dynamic as they are learning about them as concepts.

Applied Learning Project
The POC™ process is grounded in action learning and application and participants are required to work on a change project as part of their learning group. As well, individuals are required to write up an individual application of their learning.

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POC™ Process Leadership

Shelley McLean, an M.Sc.O.D. graduate of Pepperdine University designed and delivered the pilot Practitioner of Change™ process in 1993 for a major client she was working with. Since then she has led close to twenty practitioner communities and has customized the application in many ways for in-house delivery to client organizations. She is a founding partner of the CONVERGE Consulting Group, a full service management consulting firm with head offices in Calgary, Alberta, CANADA … dedicated to bringing purpose, people and performance together. We are experts in the development of internal organization capability and offer a wide variety of consulting services. Visit our website at to learn more about the areas of competency and experience.

While her passion and dedication to the Practitioner of Change™ process is immeasurable, her ongoing consulting practice keeps her current and knowledgeable in what practitioners must have demonstrated competence in to be successful as internal business partners. As a result of her experience, Shelley is able to provide on-going coaching to participants, helping them pragmatically strengthen their skills as well as use them within their organizational settings. She invites participants to bring real situations into the learning process as a way of connecting the learning to their organizational roles.

POC™ success is a testament to true collaboration however. Shelley has a wide circle of associates who are actively involved with the Practitioner of Change™, and who play an co-facilitating role with her throughout the learning process. Practitioner of Change™ associates co-lead core sessions and are both familiar with and committed to the overall learning process. Together with and supported by her business partners they have customized the application for in-house delivery to client organizations. Process leaders fulfill a critical and ongoing role in the integration of design and process concepts for the entire learning journey. They lead and/or collaborate in the delivery of all core sessions and have accountability for linking theories and models to the practical application of concepts. As well, they provide ongoing consulting support to the learning community itself.

Associates are actively involved with the POC™ delivery process and play an integrating role with the process leader at key points throughout the learning process. They have extensive practical working experience combined with strong academics and knowledge of organization development. Working with organizations undergoing change in North America and internationally, associates bring in-depth and applied internal and external experience to the learning process. Practitioner of Change™ associates co-lead core sessions or workshops and are both familiar with and committed to the overall learning process. Associate leaders include:

Nancy Brown-Johnston TripleWin, Tennessee
Wynne Chisholm, Chisholm & Associates , Calgary
Beth Craig, Craig Communications , California
Robert Gerst, Converge Consulting Group, Calgary
Dale Lake, Human Performance Systems , Colorado
Shaun Murphy, Murphy/Klatt , Calgary/Halifax

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