Here's the situation . . .
Things are changing. It’s a different ballgame now. And status quo management won’t work.
If you try to manage change the same way you’ve managed a stable routine situation, you’re going to have real problems. It’s time to switch gears.There are major challenges facing you—
- How do you hang on to your good people?
- How do you keep morale from dropping through the floor?
- Most important, how do you get the results higher management expects of your work group?
The odds are you will be expected to get more done, maybe with fewer resources, in a shorter period of time.
Is that fair or reasonable? Doesn’t matter. That’s what’s staring you in the face.
Productivity gets hammered from all sides. Your people may be upset, confused, or demoralized, but you still have to deliver results. And you have to protect the bottom line.
Change is stressful. Times like these can get on your nerves. But it’s during the tough times that you have a chance to really grow, and to prove yourself. Here’s an opportunity for you to become a corporate hero.
The company really needs you now. And you will find that times of transition and change provide an opening for you to do some remarkable things with your part of the organization.
Usually change is undermanaged. People up and down the chain of command are frequently too resistive, too reactive, and too closely tied to their old management habits.
Follow the guidelines given in this book and you won’t fall into those traps. It focuses on the specific management steps you can take to give a powerful performance during transition and change.
Here’s how to manage change, instead of letting it manage you.
Be a change agent.
During times of transition and change, it’s not “business as usual.” For example, if your firm is being acquired, merged, restructured, or downsized, your responsibilities as a manager take on a new dimension. You have to handle your usual day-to-day duties, but also you have to manage the change process itself.
All of a sudden, your job has grown. It’s more complex. You have more bases to cover, plus you will find that some of your old habits and routines in the way you lead employees just won’t work. Not now.
Success in this environment requires flexibility and adaptability on your part.
Look at it this way—if the rate of change in the organization exceeds your own rate of change as a manager, you’re going to have some real problems. New developments in the way work is conducted call for new behaviors from you. Keep up with what’s happening around you by changing your approach, your emphasis. Adapt!
The secret is not to brace yourself for change, but rather to loosen up and roll with the flow. Flexibility is one of the keys to being a good change agent.
Don't give away your power.
Leaders frequently become more tentative during times of significant organizational change. They grow more cautious, more careful, more uncertain regarding the extent of their authority and decision-making latitude.
They give away their managerial power. Then they wait around to see if higher management is going to give it back to them.
This sort of wait-and-see attitude makes you less effective. Don’t sit around waiting for permission. Instead, assume an active stance. If you wait for crystal clear signals from above regarding what you can and can’t do, your part of the organization is going to lose momentum. Empower yourself.
You’re going to look better in the eyes of both your leaders and employees if you attack your job with confidence and authority. You best protect your career when you keep in mind the principle,
“the best defense is a good offense.”
Keep a positive attitude.
Your attitude as a leader will be a major factor in determining what the climate is within your work group. And your attitude is one of the few things that is totally under your control.
Be upbeat, positive, and enthusiastic. The attitude and morale of your team will be favorably influenced.
They will perform better, and that makes your job as a manager a lot easier.
Change can be aggravating, confusing, and stressful. Look at it as a test of your emotional resilience. Anybody can be cheerful when things are rosy. The question is, when circumstances really test your ability to perform as a leader, will you measure up? Will you be the right kind of role model for your team?
You don’t have to be a Pollyanna, or ignore the reality of aggravating situations, in order to demonstrate a positive mindset.
Look at organizational change as a personal challenge. Seek out the opportunities that change presents.
End of sample.
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