Nikki Jones on change management, confronting fears, embracing change, and being awesome (#42)

42. Nikki Jones on Change Management

It’s our 1 year anniversary! I can’t believe I’ve had the privilege to talk with so many inspiring women over the last year. And this week is no exception. 

In this episode of Her HypeSquad with Bosstrack, I sit down with Nikki Jones, CEO and Founder of Changility, to talk about change management, confronting fears, embracing change, and being awesome!

Contact Nikki

LinkedIn: ⁠@nikjjones

Website: https://thechangility.com

Email: embracechange@thechangility.com

About Nikki

Nikki Jones (she/they) is the CEO & Founder of Changility. There, she focuses on the humanity of change management and its effect on people first, and her vision is to change the way the world thinks about change, one human at a time. With this unique approach, she creates a new way of working for her clients and their employees, shifting mindsets on strategy design and planning, change and program management, process improvements, and enterprise goal management. 

Prior to Changility, Nikki was NPR’s Vice President of Change Management and Transformation. In this role, she worked to ensure NPR delivered on its business and cultural aspirations, developed more inclusive decision-making and transparent ways of setting project plans and accountabilities and built stronger support systems for cross-departmental collaboration. 

Prior to NPR, she was the Director of Program Management with SiriusXMRadio, where she coached product teams responsible for digital campaign execution on ⁠SiriusXM.com⁠ and content management, sales flows, and marketing promotion optimization. As Senior Technical Program Manager with National Geographic Digital Media, she launched the official online experience for the U2 3D film for  NatGeo’s Cinema Ventures Entertainment Division and led cross-functional teams for all online programs for NatGeo and NatGeo Magazine. As a consultant with Secured Sciences Group, she re-engineered the IT Governance process for the United States Marine Corps’ Manpower Information Systems Division.

Nikki earned her BS in Social Science/Political Science from Coppin State University and her Master of Science in Information SystemsTechnologies/Advanced Business Technologies from George Washington University. 

She served on the board of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications in 2015 and served on the Technology and Innovation Committee for the Emma Bowen Foundation from 2019 to 2023. In 2021, she was a fellow for Public Media Women in Leadership’s CEO/COOBootcamp. She currently serves on the Leadership Council for the National Small Business Association.

Nikki was introduced to tech at a young age through video games. Her love for technology led her through database administration and front-end development and grew exponentially when she became a project manager. Her passion for servant-leadership, program management, and transformation drives her to help minorities confront and embrace the challenges that they face in the technology industry.


Last of Us
Call of Duty
UNO’s search for Chief UNO Player
Tim Ferriss’ fear exercises
Worm bags
Bring the Ruckus by Wu Tang Clan
Beauty Blender
Magnus Archives
Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain: The Biography
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat
The Science of Cooking


[04:31] Nikki’s introduction
[05:45] Defining change management
[06:18] Facing fear and stepping out of your comfort zone
[07:16] The role communication plays in change management
[08:30] Building out a strategic roadmap for change
[10:25] What can go wrong when executiing change
[13:28] The power of opening up communication with someone
[14:12] The role empathy plays in change
[15:46] Advice for managing change effectively
[17:38] How to have your voice heard
[19:34] Understanding the “why” when someone is resistant to change
[21:48] How to handle resistance to change when it affects timelines
[23:31] Failing forward and failing fast
[25:40] Nikki shares a time when she embraced fear for success
[29:44] What Nikki does to maintain her mental well-being when working through change
[33:26] UNO’s search for a Chief UNO player
[34:39] Exercises to make it easier for you to overcome fears
[37:23] Thinking about what’s the worst that can happen
[38:07] Thinking about what’s the best that can happen
[38:52] How Nikki overcame her fear of worms
[40:17] Embracing horror movies as a way of
[41:57] The daily routine Nikki uses to stay grounded in her day
[44:49] The go-to song NIkki listens to when she needs a confidence boost
[46:23] The one thing Nikki purchased <$100 that she recommends
[48:51] The books and podcast Nikki recommends
[51:41] The final words of advice Nikki has for everyone
[52:19] How to reach Nikki Jones


“When we work with our clients and do strategy design, strategic planning, goal management program and change management, we focus on how it affects the individual, how it affects the team, how changes affect the totality of whatever it is that the company is trying to do.”

“Because fear is a natural human emotion. You’re not going to get rid of that. But when you look at it, when you look at the fear head on, you are able to step out of your comfort zone, right? You’re, uh, you learn a whole lot more about yourself when you, approach change from a scientific method, from, a human aspect, right?”

“The biggest part is communication, right? Like, uh, being completely transparent, and communication on different levels, right? Like, so, communicating with, the client on what you want to actually do, right? What is it you’re trying to accomplish? What is the end result? Right. And then communication to their teams, their staff, like, how is this change going to affect you? First of all, this is what’s going to change. Right. And let’s talk about what’s happening now. Let’s talk about the current state. Let’s talk about how we can make things better. How we can transition to the future state that the client wants. Right. So it’s constant communication.”

“And a lot of times people just want to talk. They just want their voices heard, you know, and, and you’re giving people an opportunity to present their case. You know, and, and just listening, you know, a lot of people just want to be heard. Yeah. And giving them that opportunity and then figuring out things together.”

“And, you know, it’s, we all strive to be decent human beings. I believe that. I believe that we do not wake up and choose to not be awesome. And, so that makes it easier too, and…I think I’m lucky. That the people that I had on my teams or that are on my team now, are naturally empathetic.”

“It all falls back to, confidence, right? And embracing your fear and being fresh out of college and having your first job, you’re feeling your way, you know, should I speak up? Should I speak up? Should I speak out? Should I just do my job? And if I disagree with my manager, should I be quiet?”

“You know, my technical background and working with a ton of technical people. We embrace, we embrace failure, you know, because, we had time to iterate and make it better and, to keep making it better. But then working with, other people on teams, that were not technical. Um, yeah, it would be a challenge because they would want things perfect, you know? But again, like you said, as time moved, as we shifted, as, the world has shifted, so did mindsets. And more people than not are ready to, embrace failure.”

“And you know what? And I’m so glad you said that because I, when I embrace my fear, that is a question that I ask myself, what’s the worst that could happen? You know, what, what is the bad thing that’ll happen to me if I do this, if I step out of the comfort zone and You know, really? It’s like so inconsequential. That’s how you step out of your comfort zone.”

“Wake up every day, every day knowing that you are someone, that you are important to the world. Right? You are a gift and you need to give that gift every day. Right? Like that, I would absolutely leave it at that. You are important and we need you.”





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