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March 28, 2016

Webcast: The technology is the easy part! Leading through change

Change is constant in technical communication. Whether dealing with new technology, shifts in organizational structures, or growing business requirements, content creators must be able to adapt. In this webcast recording, a panel of content experts—Jack Molisani of The LavaCon Conference and ProSpring Staffing, Erin Vang of Dolby Laboratories, Sarah O’Keefe of Scriptorium, and moderator Toni Mantych of ADP—answer questions and give advice about dealing with change in the industry.

Some of their words of wisdom include…

Advice for employees and job seekers in tech comm. Job titles are shifting constantly, and the skills required to make it in the industry are expanding. It’s not enough to be just a writer or an editor anymore—you need to be able to add value to your organizations by proving you can meet customer needs and solve business problems. Knowing the value of your content and being able to communicate it to your company’s C-level executives will help you succeed. And if you’re just entering the tech comm industry, subject matter expertise, effective use of social media, and a willingness to learn will help you get your foot in the door.

Tips for dealing with change management. Just as change is a given in tech comm, so is change resistance. Lack of information, talent, or interest within an organization can lead to fear of change, so it’s important for managers to lead their teams through it by providing education and modeling confidence. When you’re faced with inevitable changes, sometimes it can be difficult to adapt to them while remaining true to your core values—but avoiding change means you won’t learn anything or make any progress, so it’s better to make imperfect decisions than none at all.

How do consultants fit into the picture? If you’re having trouble communicating your content needs to your managers, or they refuse to listen to you, it might be time to bring in a consultant—especially given the growing trend of companies fostering long-term relationships with outside consultants or contractors. As technology continues to evolve, many organizations are using outside experts instead of investing in training for in-house employees. Organizations are engaging consultants not just for specific projects but for long-term follow-on support. If you’re struggling with change in your organization, a consultant might be the best person to help you manage it.