Perficient’s award-winning culture values the employee experience and embraces growth. Mike Willis, director of our Organizational Change Management (OCM) practice, joined Perficient six years ago. Since the beginning, he’s been driven by watching others around him grow – both clients and colleagues.
OCM as a group helps people become ready, willing, and able to change. Mike embodies the characteristics to naturally encourage clients and colleagues alike to grow and seek positive change. Keep reading to learn more about Mike, his role at Perficient, our work in OCM, and how he collaborates to advocate for growth.
What is your role? Describe a typical day in the life.
My role as a director in our OCM practice entails a few different things. I’d say up to half of my time is on billable client work. Sometimes I play a strategic role with clients providing oversight, other times, I’m tactically creating training materials, job aids, or whatever the client may need.
Another 25% of my time is working to bring in leads, representing the OCM team, working with clients to understand how OCM can solve problems, and creating proposals. The remainder of my time is spent providing leadership to the OCM team with regular meetings to collaborate and help one another stay sharp, while also promoting teamwork to build and maintain a positive culture.
We’ve been in a handful of analyst reports related to OCM. How do you think these report mentions have helped advance Perficient’s business?
In my mind, being included in these reports helps to show that Perficient is making a name for itself in the industry. We’re someone clients can come to if they’re not getting the results they want and encourages them to talk to us to see if we can help. I believe the name recognition establishes us as a thought leader, and also shows that we understand resistance to change at a deeper level.
Our OCM practice helps Perficient stand out because we have a team of experts in the field, all with 10 to 15 years of experience specifically around organizational psychology – the science behind how people absorb change – and knowledge of how to tap into those motives. Perficient’s OCM practice is discussed in nearly every engagement we have with industry analysts. It’s an integral part of telling our Perficient story [on analyst briefings], and it helps differentiate us. Beyond analyst engagements, we bring all of this knowledge to the work we do, which I believe sets us apart from solely focusing on the technology as we follow a robust methodology.
In your opinion, what does it mean to you that we’ve been included in these reports?
It’s validating to be included and to know we’re showing up alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. I believe we’re proving that we’re agile and work with clients just as well, if not better, and part of what makes us stand out to clients is that we’re able to be so adaptive and flexible.
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I hope to see Perficient in more analyst reports to continue making Perficient a more recognizable name. We’re known for a lot of tech solutions, but this helps get our name out as an OCM leader.
How do you overcome resistance associated with change?
It starts at a leadership level in organizations. To start a case for change, it’s important to understand the clients’ vision of where they are today, where they’d like to be, and how it will benefit them. Creating a case and presenting it to leadership to give them a common language is important to ensure consistency and conciseness. The best way to overcome resistance is to get the people who will be affected by the change involved. Allow them to understand the vision and purpose and include them in the delivery and development.
At a project level, it’s important to have strong executive sponsorship. You have to have support from the top down to reiterate the vision. Beyond that, simply having the authority, budget, and resources to bring people in to give the project validity is crucial.
Resistance isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you don’t take the time upfront to involve and listen to people, and work through initial resistance before moving forward, resistance will eventually come to the surface after the change is implemented. Addressing resistance afterward makes things more expensive and time-consuming.
Why did you choose Perficient? What keeps you here?
Before I came to Perficient, I worked for several consulting firms. A friend I worked with came to Perficient, and there happened to be an open position. What sold me was the leader of Perficient’s OCM group. I felt that he was sincerely interested in me, our team, and had a great vision of the impact we could make. I’ve seen us go through a lot of changes, but the reason I stay is because of our great people and exciting clients.
How do you make a difference for our clients and teams?
I try to make a difference by working directly with the client to truly understand what they need and provide it in a very customized way. We don’t do a one-size-fits-all approach, we understand the uniqueness of each client and their culture to consistently deliver excellent work. At a team level, I strive to have a good relationship with my colleagues to understand what motivates them individually and work to help them have job satisfaction and bring their fullest selves to the job every day.
What motivates you in your daily work?
I love getting new clients, a new piece of work signed, or extensions on current projects. It’s very rewarding when clients or colleagues reach out letting me know they’re impressed and happy with our team and our work. Seeing people grow and stretch themselves to do things they didn’t know they were capable of is invigorating. It’s exciting to watch my team members step outside of their comfort zone to grow in their roles, build confidence, and learn something new. I try to find something good out of every day, but seeing my teammates grow and succeed is priceless.
If you had to define yourself using one Perficient value, which would it be and why?
I would choose collaboration. At an OCM level, collaborating and sharing our knowledge as a team opens a larger perspective. Having trust and confidence in one another helps us bring our best and allows us to go above and beyond to deliver unique solutions.
Why are you Proudly Perficient?
I’m Proudly Perficient because this company believes in me and our people and supports us to reach success. Perficient gives us the tools we need, presents opportunities, and trusts us to make good decisions, do good work, and deliver excellence to our clients.
It’s no secret our success is because of our people. No matter the technology or time zone, our colleagues are committed to delivering innovative, end-to-end digital solutions for the world’s biggest brands, and we bring a collaborative spirit to every interaction. We’re always seeking the best and brightest to work with us. Join our team and experience a culture that challenges, champions, and celebrates our people.