NCCI Annual Conference


About the NCCI Annual Conference

The Network for Change and Continuous Innovation’s (NCCI) Annual Conference features Keynotes, General Sessions, and concurrent sessions designed to educate its attendees. The Conference provides unparalleled opportunities for members and non-members to share insights and solutions regarding continuous improvement, process improvement, strategic planning, Lean, project management, and innovation in higher education. The Annual Conference is held in July of each year.


2019 NCCI Annual Conference

The 2019 NCCI Annual Conference will take place in Denver on July 10 – 12.

Fee Category Early Registration
(Through May 1)
Standard Registration
(May 2 – July 3)
Individual – Member $650 $750
Individual – Nonmember $875 $975

All fees are listed in U.S. Dollars.
Annual Conference registration fee includes: keynotes, general sessions, and concurrent sessions; Wednesday and Thursday evening receptions; Thursday and Friday continental breakfasts and lunches. Pre-conference workshops can be added for an additional fee.

Please see below for all conference details.

Keynote Speakers

Thursday Keynote:

Tim Creasey is a dynamic presenter, researcher, and thought leader on managing the people side of projects and initiatives to deliver organizational results and outcomes. His work forms the foundation of the largest body of knowledge in the world on change management.

Through conference keynotes, presentations, webinars, articles and tools, he has advanced the discipline of change management by moving it out of the “soft and fuzzy” realm toward a structured, rigorous approach for driving benefit realization and value creation on projects. Tim coauthored the book Change Management: The People Side of Change and led Prosci’s last seven benchmarking studies. He was instrumental in the development of Prosci’s integrated approach to change management and has recently worked to support leading organizations in building change agility and capability as a core competency.


Friday Keynote:

Howard Teibel is the President of Teibel Education Consulting. As a public speaker, facilitator and writer, Howard contributes to the national discourse on emerging trends facing education. His work in change management, strategy development and team building inspires individuals and groups to develop new practices in support of their shared commitments. Teibel is passionate about guiding academic and administrative leaders to create constructive discourse on regional and global issues.

Additionally, his long running podcast “Navigating Change” investigates relevant and innovative methods that can transform how teams in academia and business work together. His client roster includes the University of Colorado, Rutgers University, University of Washington, Princeton University, Cornell University, and many others.

Wednesday, July 10  
7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Preconference Workshops (Pre-Registration Required)
4:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. First-Time Attendee Reception
5:15 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Opening Reception
Thursday, July 11  
7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Registration
7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast 
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Welcoming & Opening Remarks
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Keynote: Tim Creasey, Prosci
10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Educational Sessions
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Educational Sessions
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Educational Sessions
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Break & Networking
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 20th Anniversary Activities
5:45 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Reception
Friday, July 12  
7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Breakfast
8:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Educational Sessions
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Educational Sessions
11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch & Keynote
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Educational Sessions
2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Educational Sessions
3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Closing Session


Pre-Conference Workshops

Wednesday, July 10

Preregistration is required. The cost for a full-day workshop is $250, and the cost for a half-day workshop is $150.

Change Sponsorship: Who’s Job Is It, Anyway? (8:30 a.m. – Noon)
Presented by: Lisa Terry, University of California Office of the President; Mary Morello, Prosci, Inc.; Kathleen Scott, California State University, Fresno; Bridget Wikidal, California State University Chancellor’s Office
Track: Navigating Change
Level: Change Leaders & Practitioners
Session Abstract: Research studies have demonstrated that effective sponsorship is the greatest contributor to change success. However, sponsors are often unaware of the critical and ongoing role they play during change implementation. Join Mary Morello, Kathleen Scott, Lisa Terry and Bridget Wikidal as they lead a highly interactive pre-conference in which participants will leave better understanding how sponsors can position their initiatives, themselves and their organizations for successful change. In addition, participants will learn how to enlist, engage and empower the leaders we need to step up as great change sponsors.

Inclusive Leadership: The Core Concepts (8:30 a.m. – Noon)
Presented by: Annette Denny and Katrina Di Gravio, University of Waterloo
Track: Leadership Development & Engagement
Level: Basic/Intermediate
Session Abstract: Innovative leaders look beyond diversity to create inclusion. Understanding diversity and integrating inclusive practices within your institution is critical to employee engagement, leadership development, and driving organizational excellence. The core concepts are straightforward in theory, however implementation of inclusive leadership strategies is a complex responsibility. Inclusive leadership requires awareness and integration of our actions and behaviors everyday – it is not simply a box to check within institutional policies.Do you have the knowledge, skills and ability to be an Inclusive Leader? The University of Waterloo’s award winning, Inclusivity Certificate Program cultivates an inclusive environment built on collective awareness, individual engagement and alignment to institutional policies. This highly interactive session highlights program elements designed to develop awareness, generate dialogue, and facilitate cultural competence. Discover how you can advocate for inclusive leadership practices at your institution, be adaptive, and create champions who are committed to inclusivity.

“Show Me the Methods” A What Is and How To Approach to Process Improvement (1:00 – 4:30 p.m.)
Presented by: Karla Loebick, Jessica Schein, and Dan Feely, Transforming Solutions, Inc.
Track: Process Improvement
Level: All
Session Abstract: With the development of a new PMO, training, consistency, and execution are essential. This session highlights the experience of developing a training model to experientially engage staff through innovative training methods. Using a hands-on “I do”, “We do”, “You do” training model, competencies surrounding a business process improvement methodology were learned. From templates and toolkits, to mentoring and facilitation, TSI became transformation partners in the development of the PMO’s front line process improvement team. This session will outline the experiential training methodology focusing on the three main phases, current state, analysis of current state, and future state with recommended action plan (RAP). The session will provide high-level insight to the process improvement methodology used and engage participants to experience, improve, and innovate their thinking around strategies for teaching, learning, and implementing process improvement.

The Impact of a Strength-Based Approach to Individual, Team and Organizational Development (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
Presented by: Danielle Hook, Sabrina Hebeler, and David Robinson, Michigan State University
Track: Strategy
Level: All
Session Abstract: As organizations experience change, whether it be cultural, structural, operational or otherwise, so must the individuals and teams within them. Oftentimes, workforce development efforts are grounded in cycles of gap identification and remedial intervention. In contrast, the facilities organization at Michigan State University has adopted a strengths-based approach to the development of individuals, teams and cross-functional work groups. Using the Gallup Clifton Strengths Finder assessment, the organization is finding new and creative ways to empower employees, build trust in teams and support efforts of change and transition. During this training will we explore a variety of strengths focused techniques and provide the audience with opportunities to participate in some of our most effective activities. In addition to the experiential elements of the session we will provide an overview of the context in which these tools are being applied and the impact they have when successfully implemented.

The Power of Asking Questions: Using Action Learning for Leadership Development (1:00 – 4:30 p.m.)
Presented by: Linda Neavel Dickens, The University of Texas at Austin
Track: Leadership Development & Engagement
Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Session Abstract: Early academic cultures succeeded within a technical-rationality paradigm (Schon, 1995) in which static knowledge was reserved solely for experts. Contemporary higher education institutions, however, cannot use mechanistic tactics to spur improvement; they must foster adaptive knowledge arising from democratic inquiry. Academic leaders grounded in interpretative paradigms prove more valuable than those steeped in positivist traditions (Kemper, 2002). Action Learning (AL) offers a proven approach of leadership development (Marsick, 1991); it assumes academics must know, beyond technical knowledge, how to cultivate others, facilitate change, and influence systems. AL asserts that people learn by designing and implementing solutions and involves observation of a problem, reflection, and experimental action. Brook, Pedler, and Burgoyne (2013) describe, for example, how universities have applied AL to manage inter-departmental conflict and increase student success.With lecture, video, and focused group work, participants will learn and practice AL inquiry skills, creating action plans for their individual institutional challenges.

“The Power to Change” – Leveraging your Emotional Intelligence and Innovation Superpowers (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
Presented by: Jean Ann Larson, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Duane Wilson, University of Notre Dame
Track: Navigating Change
Level: Intermediate
Session Abstract: Higher levels of emotional intelligence allow us to be open to new ideas, to think of new approaches and methods to innovate how we improve processes, leverage tools and lead our organization through necessary change. This workshop demonstrates how growing our Emotional Intelligence can enhance our ability to drive transformation of our teams and organizations. The session includes an assessment of individual Emotional Intelligence (EI) and provides tips on how to use Emotional Quotient (EQ) to think more creatively, communicate purposively and drive innovative change. A proven method of using creative approaches and how to innovate is outlined in this workshop allowing you to navigate your organizational challenges and opportunities in new ways. This is an update to a popular workshop from last year with new content and a new co-presenter.
*This session will require that the FourSight Thinking Profile assessment be completed prior to the workshop. If you have already taken the assessment, the presenters will confirm this information with you. If you have not taken the assessment, the presenters will follow-up with more information regarding the additional $26.00 fee and process.

Educational Sessions

Please see the list below for the 42 educational sessions. Detailed information will be available soon.

60 minutes Break Things Better: ERP to the Extreme Strategy
60 minutes Building and Implementing a Data Curation Plan to Enable the Strategic Use of Student Experience and Engagement Data Strategy
60 minutes Building Culture and Morale through Campus Engagement Leadership: Development & Engagement
60 minutes Celebrating failure: The need for end-to-end design Process Improvement (Lean, etc.)
60 minutes Climbing the PEAK: Creating a Change Management Community of Practice Navigating Change
60 minutes Creating cross functional success – breaking the silos Leadership: Development & Engagement
60 minutes Current Approaches to Academic and Administrative Leadership Development at NCCI Member Institutions Leadership: Development & Engagement
60 minutes Developing a Data Driven Change Management Plan Navigating Change
60 minutes Doing Less with Less: How UC Berkeley is solving the Higher Education Paradigm Strategy
60 minutes Don’t Let Your Project Get Lost in Translation: Speak IT for Better Results Navigating Change
60 minutes Facilitate Organizational Change driven by the Front Line Process Improvement (Lean, etc.)
60 minutes Facilitating Change through Faculty Partnerships Strategy
60 minutes From PMO to PCMO: Building and Weaving Change Management into the California State University System Navigating Change
60 minutes From ROI to ROV: Calculating the Return on Value from Student Experience Initiatives Strategy
60 minutes How to Develop an Office of Continuous Improvement Navigating Change
60 minutes Leadership and Staff Engagement to Drive Culture Change Leadership: Development & Engagement
60 minutes Lean Machine – Utilizing Lean Methodology for Technologically Leveraged Processes Process Improvement (Lean, etc.)
60 minutes Leveraging 360 Degree Assessments to Develop Leaders and Move Organizations Forward Leadership: Development & Engagement
60 minutes Leveraging Focus Groups to Develop a Culture of Continuous Improvement Navigating Change
60 minutes Merging change and project management for the good of all! Navigating Change
60 minutes Moving from a Culture of Opacity to a Culture of Transparency Using Data Leadership: Development & Engagement
60 minutes Organized Chaos: An Enterprise Approach to Large-Scale Projects Strategy
60 minutes Planting Seeds for the Future: Using a Strategic Plan RFP Process to Drive New Strategic Directions Strategy
60 minutes Strategic Planning for Successful Grant Awards Strategy
60 minutes Supporting Institutional Change Through Employee Engagement and Process Improvement Process Improvement (Lean, etc.)
60 minutes The Pivot: Tools for Realigning a Group’s Initiatives Strategy
60 minutes The psychology of change: cognitive barriers to innovation. Navigating Change
60 minutes “Use What Ya Got”Getting Our Innovative Bang for The Buck with Microsoft Teams for Process Improvement and Project Collaboration Process Improvement (Lean, etc.)
60 minutes Utilizing Process Improvement to Drive Strategic Organizational Alignment and Development Potential of Staff Navigating Change
60 minutes Your Staff@Work! – Insights into UC San Diego’s Multi-University Staff Satisfaction Survey That is Breaking Silos and Moving Mountains Strategy
90 minutes A Case Study on Linking It All Together: Information Management, Process Improvement, Change Initiatives, and Employee Engagement Strategy
90 minutes Change Management From Start to Celebration: Owning your seat at the table Navigating Change
90 minutes Changing the Lens – Reframing Challenges and Complex Issues in Higher Education Navigating Change
90 minutes Connecting the Unconventional: How to Start a Learning Movement Through Mentorship Leadership: Development & Engagement
90 minutes Creating the Workplace We Want Leadership: Development & Engagement
90 minutes For Staff, By Staff: Transforming Colleagues and Culture through the Purdue Engineering Staff Leadership Academy (PESLA) Leadership: Development & Engagement
90 minutes Making change the norm: A look behind the curtain at how UC San Diego is moving mountains and shifting culture in three University systems Process Improvement (Lean, etc.)
90 minutes Ready, Set, Coach! A practical approach to coaching Leadership: Development & Engagement
90 minutes Respecting institutional differences while fostering a convergence of solutions: Create a system change framework Leadership: Development & Engagement
90 minutes Using Lean Techniques for Improved Enrollment Management Process Improvement (Lean, etc.)
90 minutes Using Lean to Address Institutional Risk Strategy
90 minutes Using liberating structures and audience response technology to facilitate deeper more meaningful dialogue Leadership: Development & Engagement

Conference Location:
Grand Hyatt Denver
1750 Welton Street
Denver, CO 80202

The NCCI room block at Grand Hyatt Denver has sold out. We have secured an overflow block of rooms:

Hyatt Place Denver Downtown
440 14th Street
Denver, CO 80202

Reservations can be made online at or by phone at 888-591-1234 with reference to Hyatt Place Denver Downtown and group code NCCI.

Hotel Reservation deadline: Monday, June 17


Cancellation Policy

Please email for cancellation requests. Cancellations emailed by June 30 will be refunded, less a $75 cancellation fee. No credits will be issued beginning on July 1. Forfeited fees cannot be applied to future meetings. Substitutions from within the same institution are welcomed. To initiate a substitution, email with the name and email of both parties in the substitution: the person cancelling and the person replacing the cancelled registration. Exceptions due to extraordinary circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn how the NCCI Annual Conference can make a difference at your institution

Teresa Hartnett speaks about the benefits of networking at the Annual Conference, implementing best practices, and engaging with academic and administrative change leaders.


Annual Conference Registration is OPEN!

Long Beach, California is the place to be for the premier gathering of higher education change leaders at the 2018 NCCI Annual Conference, July 18-20! Register today and join colleagues for 40 concurrent educational sessions, thought-provoking keynote addresses,...

The Value of the Annual Conference

Read a powerful testimonial about the NCCI Annual Conference from Mark Robinson, Head of Change at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland. “Presentations were many and varied, all were extremely interesting and relevant, and were delivered by excellent speakers,” said Robinson.

I was able to make excellent and personal connections with participants and I really got a strong sense of community in this group. People went out of their way to help, offer advice, and [help me] make links with others I would benefit from meeting.


The keynote addresses, preconference workshops, and concurrent sessions at the NCCI Annual Conference are designed to meet the needs of leaders in higher education at all levels of experience with change.