January 7, 2019

Tips for change management

"The Great Management Reset: 27 Ways to Be A Better Manager" by Leslie Kaminoff (Morgan James Publishing, $16.95).

The "Change Management" chapter stands out because change disrupts the status quo. To put change-disruption in context, make a list of what, how and who are affected by each of these internal events: budget adjustments (up or down), organizational growth or decline, staff turnover (not only in your department but in those involved in your projects), deadline and priority shifts, scope creep and new procedures.

Your lists point to the need to have viable and flexible plans in place to deal with the "people" issues of change (e.g. shock, rejection, expectations, acceptance, etc.). The four Cs to managing the people-side of change are:

1. Communication — Tell people what's happening, "how it's going to affect them and what life is going to look like on the other side." As the process unfolds, keep people updated.

2. Community — Change often results in taking the eye off the organizational goal. Emphasize that change always presents an opportunity to explore new ways to achieve that goal. People's acceptance increases when they see that the manager has created a support system (e.g. resources, revised processes, assignments/projects, timelines, etc.) for implementation.

3. Camaraderie — By adopting a "we're in this together" approach to exploring those new ways, staff will continue connecting with each other and the tasks at hand. Encourage communication among the staff and feedback, which can be used to feed-forward.

4. Coaching — You need to recognize where individuals are on the change buy-in scale and let them express their views and concerns. You're responsible for helping them deal with "what's happening" and their roles.

The bottom line: It's up to managers to help staff "turn the page."

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