Change – how to ensure it’s a positive

Invariably when Colebrook Consulting’s engaged by an organisation, one of the most common questions posed by the staff is “what are the implications for me?” When coupled with the naive managerial view that “the staff will just have to get on with it, accept it”, you & I both know that it’s invariably a recipe for disaster!

Being particularly mindful of the uncertainty created by the current economic backdrop it’s essential that you do what you can as a leader to avoid stoking the fires of uncertainty and
doubt. A significant risk is that if not managed, the internal negativity will soon be transferred from your staff to your customers too.  The implication of that is that whilst you may be planning to lose some of your staff to help your business, you absolutely don’t want to be losing any of your customers thus damaging your business i.e. you increase the probability of a negative impact through change.

The status quo is under constant stress so proactively engaging, puts you as leader in a much stronger position when it comes to managing the transition and associated challenges. In short, do not shy away from the process. …embrace it, shape it, nurture it.

I have recently had the opportunity to work with a group of employees and assist them in the engaging with positive change and producing some great results whilst confronted with some really difficult issues.

The key points to remember:

  • Be open with staff, engaging with them formally and informally BUT avoid the temptationto facilitate gossip, rumour and speculation i.e. be factual
  • Create a communication plan which is structured and iterative in nature
  • Be prepared to modify your approach responsibly
  • Do not underestimate the destabilising effect of poorly managed change in the workplace
  • Take ownership personally or through a team structure for the actions required to help the transition
  • Think carefully about the potential impact on your clients and assess how you can proactively engage with them when the time is right…the objective is to retain and grow them into advocates of your business. Advocacy requires trust!
  • Plan to protect your business….think holistically as this is not just about the short term bottom line.

Copyright Nigel Beane ©

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Nigel Beane regularly publishes online to provide readers with an insight into how best to assist businesses in the area of change, transition, performance enhancement with the goal of
enabling competitive advantage.  If you would like to hear more from Nigel subscribe here to be advised automatically of his new posts.

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