Change Management Risk Assessment – Key Reference Points and Metrics

In addition to undertaking the “soft assessment” of individual readiness for change surveys, it is necessary to undertake the “hard assessment” to assess organisational readiness for change.

There are a number of inter-related dimensions that need to be assessed, and they are as follows:

# Maturity models
# Cultural assessment
# Benefit realisation
# Impact assessment
# Project complexity

Maturity models

One of the major reference points in change management risk assessment is the maturity model. This is my personal working definition of a maturity model:

“A maturity model is a structured representation of the stages of evolution of an organisation, as it transition through various developmental states and stages, in response to the impacts of changes in the organisation’s operating environment.

This evolution represents progress to more developed or advanced states of learning, insight, understanding and practise that support its strategic goals.”

Try these initial questions:

# Do you use project management?
# Do you use programme management?
# Do you know the difference?
# Do you know why knowing the difference matters?
# What is your organisation’s business process maturity?
# What is your organisation’s change management maturity?

Then try this simple test – review the different levels listed below (based on the P3M3 project management maturity model) – firstly in relation to project management and then secondly with programme management – and then across the other areas outlined above and see which best describes your organisation:

(No need for consultants – just treat this as a quick thought experiment initially – before examining each area in more depth.)

# Level 0 – No process – the organisation has no project and /or programme management skills or experience
# Level 1 – Awareness process – the organisation is able to recognize projects and/or programmes – but has little structured approach to dealing with them.
# Level 2 – Repeatable process – there may be areas that are beginning to use standard approaches to projects and/or programmes but there is no consistency of approach across the organisation.
# Level 3 – Defined process – there will be a consistent set of standards being used across the organisation with clear process ownership.
# Level 4 – Managed process – the organisation monitors and measures its process efficiency, with active interventions to improve the way it delivers based largely on evidence or performance based information.
# Level 5 – Optimised process – the organisation will be focussing on optimisation of its quantitatively managed processes to take into account changing business needs and external factors.

Cultural assessment

Organisational culture is the single biggest determinant of how an individual will behave within a business or organisational environment. It will over-ride education, intelligence and common sense. Therefore it needs to be an integral aspect of any change management risk assessment.

All too often I have seen many senior people in large organisations, whilst under the influence of the dominant organisational culture, behave in ways that on occasions defied common sense and the “blindingly obvious”.

Culture is also a major determinant in how people will react to change and change leaders’ attempts to apply “change management” to them.

Any attempt to address organisational culture involves these 3 processes:

# Cognition – understanding fully: “what we look like – how we want to look
# Communication – providing the framework and language of change
# Change – using appropriate tools, techniques and change processes

Cultural mapping and analysis is a critical aspect of change management risk assessment.

Benefit realisation

One of the many reasons that I advocate using a programme management based approach to change is that it focuses on the realisation of benefits.

Any change initiative that does not have clearly defined benefits supported by a benefit realisation plan runs yet another significant and common risk of failure.

This is often occurs where there is a project management driven change initiative, and it occurs because the focus of change management risk assessment is on the delivery of the new capability. This frequently causes change managers to overlook the need to implement plans to ensure that the defined organisational benefits are realised.

Impact Assessment

The failure – by change leaders – to identify and take full account of the impact of a change initiative on those people who will be most impacted by it is another major reason for change failure and thus another significant component of change management risk assessment.

A thorough stakeholder mapping and analysis is a key component of the programme based approach to managing a change initiative.

However, as Pat Zigarmi and Judd Hoskstra of Blanchard’s say:”Bottom line – people who plan change rarely implement the plan.”

But there is a deeper dimension to this – people don’t want you to try to sell change to them – they want to understand it and be involved in making it happen.

They also want to be asked ‘what works; what doesn’t’. If they are asked they will provide valuable guidelines and become an integral part of the process. This is – or should be – an integral aspect of the pre-programme review and planning process

Project Complexity

For change initiatives that comprise one or more projects and that will be delivered within a project management framework, project complexity is another significant aspect of change management risk assessment.

Statistically the size of the project, the scope of project and the duration of the project all contribute to project complexity and increased risk.

Two other important perspectives are your organisations legacy with projects which will be reflected in your organisation’s level of project management maturity all of which can simply be stated as your organisational capability.

Thus there is a very need to devise or acquire an assessment tool that will enable you to assess the complexity of your change initiative in relation to your organisational capability to handle it.

10 Key Competencies for Change Managers

Although change management is founded on established theories, in too many cases initiatives fail to produce intended outcomes, and go over time and over budget. One study by Gartner Research, for example, found that of the companies surveyed 90% had experienced significant change within the past two years, but only 5% had avoided substantial disruptions and finished on time. Why do problems like these exist? Is there something wrong with change management theory? Or does the problem lie with how people perform?

In this article we examine 10 key competencies for change managers.

1. They must have proven research ability: Change management is a form of problem-solving. The best solutions to the problems are not discovered by guesswork, hunches, a ‘sixth sense’, or past experience. The stakes are far too high to trust unreliable processes. Problem analysis and solutions must be based on scientific evidence, and that means change management must be seen as a social science research exercise. Managers don’t need rigid ‘maps’ of how they work or get overly excited about the tools they have at their disposal. What they really need is a sound knowledge of how to conduct excellent research in social sciences. They need to know how to design research projects to collect sufficient, valid and reliable data; how to analyse data; how to report findings; and how to use the findings to create practical and workable solutions.

2. They must have a clear understanding of the change process: Nobody is going to do a good job if they don’t know what change is, how it works, and the theory and principles of how to manage it. Their understanding must be based on well-established research. It cannot be based on what the person ‘thinks’ change is, or on past personal experience. Change management is on shaky ground without a thorough understanding of the change process and established management principles.

3. They must be able to overcome resistance to change: It is a well-known and often lamented reality that people in organizations resist change. They do so for all kinds of reasons – and the manager must be aware of what those reasons are and how to overcome them. Failure to manage resistance sees most change initiatives ultimately fail in a slow war of attrition.

4. They must be able to identify and work with key change agents: Key change agents are people who are ready for change, and people of influence. People with readiness are unlikely to resist the change (providing it is introduced well) however, they are likely to spread positive stories about it. Those are the kind of stories you want.

5. Change managers must be able to harness the power of narratives: Stories create extremely powerful forces that can make or break change. Change managers must be able to tap into those forces and shape the kinds of stories people are telling within the organization.

6. They must be able to address cultural issues: Organizational culture is a broad concept that includes elements such as belief systems, attitudes, use of language, expectations, management styles, etc. These cultural elements must be examined to see if they are contributing to resistance, or contributing to change. The manager must know how to assess them and how to influence them, as required.

7. They must ensure organizational processes and structures support change: The processes and structures within the organization must support change for it to be successful, and it is essential the manager is aware of how these processes and structures impact the change process.

8. They must be able to use the power of organizational networks: Organizations are networked structures. Certain people are influential, and certain people have power. Change managers need to be skilled at working with different types of people. They need to be able to influence powerful and influential people so they become engaged with the change and contribute positively to the process.

9. They must have commitment for the change: Change can be tedious and exacting – most complex problem-solving exercises are. The manager must be dedicated to continually solve problems as they arise, to change tactics, and to see the process through to completion.

10. They must have realistic expectations: Change managers must be realistic about how difficult the process might be, and how long it might take. They also need to be realistic about how staff might react, and what their challenges could be.

The role of change manager is a complex and demanding one that requires a specialised skillset and extensive knowledge. The list of competencies listed here is by no means exhaustive. If the manager is not up to the task change can become very expensive, very disruptive, and potentially toxic to the organization. Even if you have skilled and experienced internal change managers, there are advantages to securing help from outside. External change managers provide an objective view and not caught up in organizational politics.

The Role of Change Management in Successful Information Management Solutions

Introduction

Implementation of Information Management solutions necessarily brings change to any organization. Business practices, role and relationships all affect the way in which people work and interact on a day-to-day basis. Whether the driver for implementation is for productivity, compliance or risk reduction there is always the need to consider what impact there will be on user communities.

Document and records management practices in organizations are not often front-of-mind for most managers and employees and asking them to think about information in a different way or even at all, as a corporate asset requires a fundamental mindset change. This will take many employees out of their comfort zone, impact on their confidence and competence to perform the work and creates a situation where individuals can sense a loss of control in their work context.

It is natural that most people initially react with caution with concerns about their future, security and where they will fit in to a new order of things. In any group there will be 10% who are excited by the prospect of change and at the other end 10% who will resist change regardless. This means that there are 80% who can be influenced one way or the other.

The successful implementation of an information management system extends far beyond the design and implementation. It extends beyond the support and operation. Effective information management requires a fundamental mind-shift by stakeholders and everyone in the organization that relies on information in their work activities. This shift needs to be carefully executed to create a requisite culture in which information is appropriately and thoroughly managed as a key organizational asset.

What is Change Management?

Change management is the art of influencing the majority to positively accept and commit emotionally to the change. Many of the issues arising as a response to change can be real or perceived and are closely related in a cause and effect network. Either way, they need to be addressed to avoid resistance or rejection of the change. This requires a combination of communication, understanding, mentoring, coaching and general support with the aim of building trust. It is from this position of trust that the task of building the work culture required for successful information management begins. The ‘4 Cs’ of change management help us think about the change from an effected user point of view.

Comfort People are creatures of habit and develop patterns of working within a comfort zone of daily activities.

Control Changed practices may cause a loss of control over daily routines and activities. This may come through changed reporting lines or responsibilities which can evoke a level of discomfort.

Confidence The introduction of new practices may undermine employee confidence in their ability to perform. Some may see this as challenge, for others it can be stressful. Often the introduction of computer equipment is something that can be discomforting. Some people, particularly older workers may have no experience with computers and can cause self doubt over their abilities to learn the new skills required.

Competence To be able to operate in a changed work environment there is always an element of re-skilling required. This necessarily means that current skills, often developed over an extended period of time will need updating or may become redundant. This uncertainty can impact on an employee’s competence and ability to perform.

The management of the complex web of responses, issues and perceptions requires focused attention. The skills of a change manager are built on an understanding of human behavior and the change manager’s role is to assist people to understand the change and what it means in personal terms and has been proven to be a significant success factor in building Information Management capability.

Why is Change Management important?

As volumes of information inevitably grow and our regulatory obligations increase amid the ongoing business pursuit of productivity, we cannot afford to waste the opportunity to exploit the benefits of information management solutions.

Studies repeatedly show that a key risk in the success or failure of information management solutions is stakeholder resistance to change. Through an investment of time and effort in preparing the user community for the coming change the chances of resistance are lowered. In short without a disciplined approach to managing stakeholders through the change then realization of anticipated benefits is put at risk. This has impact on business productivity, staff moral and the bottom-line. So it would seem logical for us to deploy our information management solutions in the most effective manner.

Some common Change Management pitfalls of an IM solution implementation

We are seeing an ongoing consolidation of the information management vendor community and a subsequent convergence of the underlying technology. There is a growing recognition by organizations that an information management capability is needed. Further, audit activity frequently highlights any shortfalls in performance and organizations react accordingly.

The selection of an information management solution is an important corporate investment and common pitfalls addressed by change management include:

Focus on Technology

Ignoring the emotional needs of users in the rush to get the technology in place can create a real project risk. Many organizations with an information management solution already in place experience a negativity of opinion towards the system. Often the cause of this perception can be traced to an initial technical implementation focus that neglected the needs of those who consequently struggled to apply new functionality in their work activities. An effective change management approach including awareness building and communication can turn this perception around.

Recognition of the Business importance of Information

The low profile that information management has in most employees’ minds can be an issue. We are all busy and in the scheme of things ‘filing’ is not front-of-mind for the majority of employee’s striving to keep pace with everyday work pressures. Document management and filing, can fall down the priority list partly because of work pressures and partly because of limited awareness and can be seen one of the things that ‘should’ be done’ rather than something that ‘must’ be done.

Organizations recognising the business value of information as an asset can then raise awareness of its importance and manage it accordingly. An increased awareness of this importance should also influence the planning of information management system deployments.

Business Case and Budget

The business case for information management is focused on risk, mitigation, and productivity. However; many benefits are intangible and have an indirect impact on the bottom line. Unfortunately associated costs are very tangible and visible.

Consequently, there are challenges in the development of the business case as it can fail to excite the financial fundamentalists who view the whole undertaking in terms of an unavoidable cost that must be minimized. For the uninformed, change management activities can be seen as non-essential and result in budgets being set to minimise cost adding to the risk of failure.

Although not unique to Information management implementations these above factors can create significant project risk. Change Management techniques are designed to address the human behavioral issues that can adversely impact on project success and as such, are a necessary inclusion in any deployment activity.

What are some Change Management best practices for an IM solution implementation?

When it is apparent users are not participating in Information Management practices an objective assessment can identify a way forward that is usually cost effective and will meet organizational needs within a much shorter timeframe. This assessment must take an independent and holistic view of the situation from multiple perspectives.

This assessment must identify the root causes of any associated issues and develop a clear strategy to build the information management capability required. There are a number of common elements that have emerged as issues with information management implementations that have nothing to do with the incumbent technological tool and the strategy developed must consider how these are to be addressed.

The capability assessment framework enables organizations to holistically assess information management practices and to identify improvement opportunities that will build capability. This is achieved by benchmarking current organizational practice against best practice in each of the dimensions of the framework. The best practice benchmark criteria in the framework have been identified through experience with multiple organizations across industry sectors and geographies, and are augmented through industry collaboration and global academic research outcomes.

The dimensions of information management identified in the framework are defined as follows.

Strategy

Best practice organization’s should have a clear strategy relating to its management and use of information The strategy clearly defines the content and structure of the information, how it is to be governed and applied to support the primary business strategy.

Content

We can assume that most organizations have the information content that is required to manage their business. If this is not the case then it is difficult to envisage the organization operating successfully or at all. However, most organizations suffer from an ad-hoc approach to the management of this important asset. Best practices relating to managing this content start by having an inventory of the content, a consistent architecture governing naming conventions, taxonomy, where content is held, how content is held, i.e. hard copy soft copy formats and who can access what categories of information.

Process

Due process governing how information is created, stored, accessed and communicated is fundamental to the governance of enterprise information.

Governance is the combination of processes and structures implemented at management level to inform, direct, manage, and monitor the information management activities of the organization. This consists of clear policy, procedure and business rules guiding information management practices. These must be developed in context of the organization’s business activity and be clearly communicated to stakeholders.

Information management governance also includes the development of business classification schemes, taxonomy, naming conventions and rules governing the creation, storage, protection, communication, sensitivities, use and appropriate destruction of information.

Culture

The manner in which information is treated and perceived in an organization is reflective of organizational culture. Best practice organizations have clear understandings and norms recognising the importance of information as an asset. This mindset needs to be pervasive across the organizational culture and is fundamental to induction and staff development initiatives.

Change management during information systems implementations is a clear best practice aimed at creating the cultural awareness and mindset required.

Relationships

Organizations operate within a network of relationships with stakeholders. These stakeholders include customers, suppliers, regulators and industry bodies. Best practice organizations have clear understanding and service level agreements with other stakeholders in order that corporate record keeping obligations are met and to ensure information is shared appropriately and to the level required to maximize efficiency.

Services

The application of Information as an asset is fundamental to the services or products offered to the market place. Best practice organizations embed value-adding knowledge and information into services to maximize attractiveness and utility. Corporate discipline ensuring the validity of information shared is necessary to mitigate risk of non-compliance and avoid potential litigation.

Technology

Information technology is fundamental to the management of the information asset. Clear and consistent architectures, data and information structures, security and operational tools indicate a mature approach to information management. Best practice organizations have clearly defined architectures.

Change Management Best Practice

The capability assessment framework facilitates benchmarking against specific best practice indicators. The absence of any of these indicators provides an opportunity for the organization to improve. Over and above these specific indicators the following themes have emerged as overarching best practice in change management as information management capability is developed.

Governance

As discussed above governance is the combination of processes and structures to inform, direct, manage, and monitor information management activities. This includes effective record keeping practices. It is important that organizations develop governance practices as early as possible in implementation projects. This often means putting governance in place prior to specification, selection and deployment of a technology solution. This has a double benefit. Firstly: stakeholder’s become familiar with information management expectations and the requisite culture begins to develop; and secondly; the organization gains the opportunity to refine its governance structures prior to full deployment.

Information Management System

The selection of an enabling information management technology to meet performance and functional requirements should follow a diligent approach. It is best practice for selection criteria to consider wider information management architectural needs. The functional richness of available solutions can allow the retirement of duplicative products providing islands of functionality. Workflow or WebPages are common examples of these islands where products have been acquired for a single one-off purpose and are unable to integrate with core applications. Once configured and deployed the new infrastructure can provide the opportunity to create an integrated technology architecture thereby reducing support cost.

Pilots

There are many examples of high cost, high-profile failures in the information technology industry. Often this can be traced to over-ambition and a big-bang approach to deployment.

Implementation of Information Management capability within well defined scope delivered in incremental steps provides many benefits. Primarily incremental implementation through a series of pilot deployments allows adaptation of the solution based on real experience before attempting to conquer the world. Many organizations are benefiting from the adoption of this approach.

User Focus

The inclusion of change management activities focused on preparing stakeholders to take on the reformed work practices mitigate against risk of stakeholder resistance. This involves considering the emotional needs of all stakeholders to ensure that they feel in control, are comfortable and have the confidence and competence to execute new work practices. For many stakeholders the learning of new skills and changed role and responsibility provides enhanced career opportunity.

Architecture

Most of the solutions available in the marketplace offer rich functionality to manage documents and content in a web-based environment. Full use of the functionality on offer can simplify the technical architecture and realize savings in licence and administrative cost further justifying investment.

Change Management Roles and Responsibilities

The change manager works very closely with stakeholders and it is important that relationships based on trust are established. The personal attributes of a successful change manager are empathy and patience. The role and responsibility of the change manager is focused on understanding stakeholder needs, building an awareness of the need for change and supporting these stakeholders as they transition to new work practices.

Some key responsibilities for the change manager include communications, setting up reporting and communication channels, participating in business process reform, workshop facilitation, staff training, mentoring and awareness building. In short, any activity that interacts and prepares the user community to participate in reformed work practices.

Regardless of the scale of undertaking information management projects require a change management capability. In large scale projects there may be dedicated change management resources. For smaller scale projects this role may be a part-time or shared responsibility. The change management role can in many instances be a shared role across the development. Sometimes this can be provided through a corporate change management function. Regardless of how the role is resourced it is essential that it is included.

Many routinely conducted project activities such as workshops, interviews, training and presentations are in fact change management opportunities as these events they are interactions with stakeholders. They therefore present the ideal opportunity to develop the relationship of trust between the project team members and stakeholders.

It is important to avoid the situation where contributing stakeholders feel as though they have been sucked dry for information by technical people. This can be avoided through the development of awareness of the importance of the project team/stakeholder relationship thereby maximizing the value of this contact time.

Further, ‘champions’ can be identified from within the stakeholder community. This provides a critical change management input. As these champions are representatives drawn from the stakeholder community their roles can be a very influential and positive contributor to project success.

Summary

Research shows proves that higher levels of user acceptance and greater use of installed solutions are achieved when deliberate change management activities are included in the implementation work plan and life cycle. Best practice in change management is focused on the early involvement of stakeholders and on building a trusting relationship. Accordingly, leading organizations have recognized its importance and routinely allocate resources as projects are planned

For most organizations there is the opportunity improve information management performance. A place to start is through a benchmarking assessment of information management capability against best practice to identify how to realize available benefits by learning from the success of others.

This paper has emphasized change management and the resultant outcomes and opportunities as best practice. The selection of an information management solution is an important corporate investment. For those organizations considering implementation and for those that have current infrastructure in place, there is the real opportunity to maximize return on investment and to create a work culture that displays the requisite information management behaviours.

Dr. Rod Dilnutt

Rod is the Managing Director of William Bethwey & Associates and a Senior Research Fellow of The University of Melbourne. He has wide experience as a consultant in the private sector and at all levels of the public sector gained in Australia, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. This experience includes ten years in a ‘Big Six’ consultancy firm where he led the Knowledge Based Business Service Line for Asia Pacific.

Rod applies his practical knowledge and expertise to his consulting assignments and is retained in an advisory capacity by many leading organisations. He is also a frequent presenter at industry and academic conferences.

4 Ways To Find The Best Change Management Jobs

A career in managing change can act as an attractive move. Despite long hours, the work is rewarding and well paid. The ultimate purpose of the management of change is to engage and encourage a workforce a new approach to doing their jobs through either technological change, downsizing and reshaping organizational hierarchies. The process of managing change will only be deemed a success if this change is useful and implemented effectively. Change management jobs vary in nature. This article provides clear instructions on how to find the right change management career for you.

Use The Internet

Google is the best source of extracting relevant information. Type “change management jobs” into Google Search and a whole range of options will be provided. The trick here is to narrow the search down by adding the region or nation where the jobs are based. The internet will also provide information on what type of jobs there are available as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Contact A Careers Guide

There are countless recruitment agencies that are listed on telephone directories but also government career guidance services that all provide the links to various change management jobs. Their services can usually be free of charge whereas recruitment agencies tend to take a cut of your salary for putting you in touch with the company advertising the service. Their resources are however free and these should be used to make clear what type of job will suit your skills.

Types Of Change Management Jobs

Change management jobs can be broken down. For instance, the management of change teams are responsible for developing a change strategy, building plans and apply the relevant management of change methodologies. Executives and senior managers play the more visible roles and actively direct the project and are the leaders employees go to with their queries. Middle managers and supervisors interact with project managers and also liaise with employees. The project team meanwhile instigates the change by creating the solution that changes people’s jobs, therefore managing all of the issues involved. They also engage with the managing change team. Furthermore, they implement the plans into the project plan.

Apply And Build Your CV

Once you have found the role of your choice by familiarising yourself with the necessary job description when searching for change management jobs, securing a job in such a field will be based on the skills you have gained from previous work experience or through extra-curricular studies. Within the case of managing change, such competencies that need to be strong will be one’s ability to solve problems. After all, these jobs are based around finding the solutions to change! Other traits that help are strong communication skills (both verbal and written) and being able to display strong decision making standards. It is also important to see the bigger picture so building up good commercial awareness on an array of industries will certainly point you in the right direction. If seeking a project team role, teamwork will be another factor. These sorts of skills may be tested at assessment centers should one advance well with their applications. Finally, some external companies offer individual management training programs such as APM, the association of project management where one can be certified for their work.

5 Change Management Challenges In Turbulent Times

Over the last few years, with the dramatic changes in the financial world and the ever speeding of worldwide communications, change management has become an art form all the more challenging.

New business environments are facing change like never before and because of this accelerated pace, change management faces some new challenges as a process in itself.

Here are five specific to the ‘new world’, where the only thing that stays steady is the rate of change of the pace of change:

1. Keeping Their Trust

With each change in the workplace following hot on the heels of the last change, it is unsurprising that employees are feeling punch drunk as each blow hits home. ‘This place isn’t like what it once was’, will be the plaintiff cry heard in workplaces across the world.

Historically change happened gradually – if at all – and even just a few short years ago, any change was greeted as an event; a novelty and the inherent values of an organisation still showed through.

Not any more. And those leading change have to work far, far harder to ensure that they are seen to be the trusted organisation they always were.

For managers implementing change, the position they are in (commonly known as between ‘a rock and a hard place’) has meant that they have had to deliver change to their people, whilst also ensuring that they personally retained good relationships with their people, often built up over many years.

The solution to this is that investment in the trusting relationships they build over time will go along way to insulate them from the bad feeling that comes when changes are implemented, however often they happen. The key action for managers to take, is to spend as much time as possible of the office and with their people, listening to them and valuing them, as early as they can, so that the strong trust is in place before you need it.

2. Being Fully Honest

When changes are being made, managers will find there is a conflict between being open and honest with their people. This can cause a challenge because as they have been able to build trusting relationships, openness and honesty have been one of the foundations.

For a manager suddenly to become much more careful about what they say, can lead to suspicion and short-term reduction in the trust their people have in them.

The way to resolve this is two-fold. By building a series of relationships with employees that, over time has been tested and shown to be robustly trustworthy, a manager will be able to use that to help when they can’t be quite as open as they might be in different times.

The second issue is to be open and honest about what they can and cannot be open about! This statement of reality will show their employees that they really are sticking with the principles already embedded in the relationship – that of honesty and openness in the communication between them.

3. Creating a ‘Constant Change’ Environment

How would it be if there were no surprises and changes came and went with excitement and fun? That takes control back and makes people feel better too. This requires a change in mindset to encourage – even proactively stimulate – change in lives and in business too.

Where change is challenging is where we simply don’t have the skill to appreciate what opportunities change creates.

By looking for change constantly, managers – and, very importantly, their teams – set the ladder against a different wall and when change still gets applied outside their control, they are far more able to see the possibilities – and less likely to dwell on any downsides.

4. Maintaining Morale

In a change ridden world, people feel battered by the effects and this can strike at the very heart of how they are feeling. In any business, it leaves a sense of uncontrolled ‘done to’ rather than being a part. By getting people engaged with change and having an integral say in the ‘how’ of the ‘what’ needs to be done, creativity and engagement flows.

The best managers see their employees as a resource in change situations – even more in this new age where past conventions of ‘;caring for our people’, are being thrown out of the door.

For many employees, this is such a shift in what they are used to that they fail to see the way forward – so letting them be a fully signed-up part of that way is a perfect tactic to maintain and even max out their morale and motivation.

The question is, as a manager, will you be prepared to get out of your own way and let that happen?

5. Bringing Good People In

Incredibly, changing workplaces generate new opportunities for managers, not least in the arena of recruitment. It’s a little sad to say so, but in many situations, managers have been left with a less than fully-formed team.

So when changes to personnel happen, it’s critical that this clear-out is used as an opportunity to bring in the right people next time. For this, many managers will have to shape up in their recruitment skills or they will simply replace like-with-like and make no progress. Indeed, because of the churn time it takes for people to settle in, there could be a significant decrease in performance over a protracted period.

Recruit effectively from the burgeoning pool out there. Review where it didn’t work out in the past and grab this opportunity for change, to build a sharper, more dynamic – more demanding of you even – team for the future.

Change provides opportunity, if you let it happen. And it’s more than that. Finding the courage and strength to be dynamic and creative in turbulent business times can shape careers – in both ways. Effective managers have the capacity to stand back and change themselves too.