What change did you initiate in your organization/community?

From 2000 to 2010, I guided downtown public art tours with an average of 8,000-10,000 participants annually. Increases in workload changed my priorities and the tours had to stop. This tour docent project was initiated to continue to provide that service.

Josh Olson leads a public art tour in downtown Boise. Photo by Otto Kittsinger.

What has been your greatest take away from the Change Leader program?

We were all reminded of the infinite reasons why change is hard and why it can be a long and difficult process to manage it. It was a great opportunity to learn and practice the institute’s management techniques. I really appreciated the group and individual activities. After the institute, I realized it was going to take discipline to intentionally use the techniques in order to make progress in effective change management.

What aspect of the institute have you utilized the most?

What stuck with me from the institute was primarily the NWBE chart (needs, wants, beliefs, emotions). I had been using the diagram as a way to initially prioritize my work. It’s not always easy, but I needed to take the personal out of the professional without eliminating the passion I have for this line of work. I have very specific goals to help our organization improve the quality of work we produce. These goals are absolutely necessary, but are sometimes met with internal non-negotiable resistance. Establishing the NWBE’s of an issue helped me discuss the situation more effectively.

Photo by Otto Kittsinger.

How has this experience changed you?

The institute helped me focus on my strengths and in turn, I realized I had to face my own limitations. Often those limits were simply stress/ emotional build-up from the failure to make the changes that needed to happen. Those situations provide opportunities for growth, and perhaps new management styles to initiate change.

Boise public art piece Penny Postcard by Mark Baltes, 2003. Photo by Otto Kittsinger.