Change Management For The Business Executive

Thursday, July 18, 2019
Ross Hunter

Ross Hunter

WA Dept. of Children and Youth Family Services


Ross Hunter has managed several major personal changes in his career. Starting out at Microsoft, where he served as a manager for over 15 years, Ross went on to the State Legislature. While that was a major transition, it paled in comparison to his later role as the Secretary of Washington's Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF).

As the head of the state's fourth largest agency, Ross manages 4500 state employees and a budget over $1B. What's more, in Ross' first 18 months on the job, he was tasked with overseeing the merger of 3 relatively smaller state agencies into one incredibly large organization.

As a result of this change process, Ross received a crash course in change management, and he provided insight into that learning curve at the July 2019 CEOtoCEO Breakfast.

Among the most important aspects of managing change, Ross says, are several things:

  • Be deliberate and clear about what it is you want to change.
  • Communicate on every level possible.
  • There are people actively trying to sabotage your change process. Fire them.
  • Change behavior from the top down. Remember that everyone is watching you.
  • Create a culture that rewards success rather than fear.

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