Change is inevitable in business and, as a manager, it is something that we have to cope with on a daily basis. If only the world would stay the same than a manager would have an easy job!
With the rapid pace of change, which only seems to be increasing, how do we, as managers, stay on top of the situation and remain in control?
Change is Inevitable
Accept than change is given and that all companies need to be adaptable to stay in business. It is pointless burying our heads in the sand and hoping that something won’t happen, or we will deal with it when it does – this is poor management practice and likely to result in a risk to survival, both of the business and your management career.
It’s impossible to anticipate every change that is possible, however we can have best endeavours to consider those changes that are high risk and would have high impact to the business. After some analysis of the most likely risks and those that would have the highest impact, a plan can be formulated to either minimise the likelihood of it happening (such as building the offices away from a flood zone) or minimising the impact (such as leave the building where it is but building a flood wall).
Confront change with a positive attitude. It may be that a change has come along which has had huge impact to your function, perhaps having big budgetary impact, making a number of projects now obsolete, or placing increased demands on your staff. None of these are positive and it is tempting to become resentful and de-motivated. Your staff will be looking to you as an example of how to behave. A professional attitude demonstrates to your staff the importance of moving on and understanding what the new changes mean. Equally, it is important to acknowledge that there may be disappointment and some difficult situations that need to be sensitively managed.
A New World
As a manager, it is important that you move on as quickly as possible and understand what the changes mean. It is easy to make quick assumptions early on, but you will need to understand exactly what a change means to your function so that you know what is required from you and your staff. Large-scale change creates a lot of unknowns for people, and they are looking for guidance and reassurance. By moving as quickly as possible to the ‘new world’, helps your staff begin the process to also understand what is now required of them.
Support the Change
As part of the management team, you need to support the Change, both in public and private forums. Effective change is about an organisation working together to achieve new goals and objectives, and as a manager, you play a key role in motivating staff and rallying enthusiasm.
Change and communication are necessary partners. Without communication, change becomes embroiled in rumours, which are often incorrect and distract people from the key goals of the Change.
A manager that is ready to cope for change, and quick to adapt when change does occur, is a highly effective manager. A positive attitude will help your staff also deal with change, but remember that change is difficult for most people, and as a manager you need to be understanding that a change can have a big impact to a person, both in their work and their personal life.