managing change

January 13, 2010

Introducing And Managing Workplace Change

Change is a fact of life. Managing change brings challenges for even the most experienced of managers, yet it’s how it’s handled that can shape a career.

How we take on board the changes that are expected of us when we manage others, can have a significant impact on the way that our people react to them.

By investing time in getting and keeping close to our employees makes a huge difference in how they view us, so what we do with changing situations can be made much easier if we help them understand that we have our job to do and sometimes, just sometimes, that involves introducing changes that are challenging.

Getting them on board the train you are driving is a very smart tactic to adopt, so that there will be a coherency in approach with everyone pulling together as far as possible.

Often, where the bonds between you are very good, there will be an appreciation of the way you handle difficult change and even a support back for you from those affected, where they understand how difficult the experience is for you as well.

Working on those regular interactions with as many of your people as possible is worth it, to help with managing change – one of the many benefits of the investment in being with your people on a regular basis, day-in, day-out throughout your time working together.

It can be tempting for managers who have difficult changes to bring about, to pass the buck upwards to avoid any personal links to the actions being undertaken.

“I don’t agree with it, but…” is a lame effort to shirk responsibility and get off the hook. Where you do this, it’s likely that you will make matters much worse.

Your people will disrespect you for it. Your bosses will come to appreciate your lack of support and for you personally, there will be a gap in how your own actions have not been authentic within the positions for which you are being paid.

The key to progress is to have the great relationships with your people pre-formed; be open and honest about the changes that are coming about; and then to involve as many of the people for whom change will have an impact, in working on ways to make the change work for the benefit of them too.

Generating their ideas and input with refocus any energy they might have to oppose change and often, so often, they will come up with much better solutions to smooth the change through than you might have on your own.

Filed under Blog, Building the Future, Developing Your People, Focus on Results by Martin

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March 10, 2009

Quick Thinking Required!

I’m fascinated by productivity. Making things actually happen, instead of pondering endlkessly is a huge step forward for any manager.

When I was in Australia recently, I met up with Dr Ken Hudson, from The Speed Thinking Zone. Ken’s premise is that things take way too long and there is a better way.

Hudson’s Law of Meetings

February 27, 2009

In 1955, Cyril Northcote Parkinson suggested, in a tongue in cheek way, what has since become known as Parkinsons Law. It states:

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

I would like to suggest that this be updated for meetings in what i have called Hudson’s Law of Meetings:

Meetings expand to the time set for the meeting.

Think about it. Have you ever been at a meeting when someone says, well we have the meeting room booked for the next hour why don’t we stay till then. Why should you? If the meeting is over the meeting is over.

Why do most of us feel guilty about having a shorter meeting or one that finishes early? In a recent workshop we covered all we had to do and i suggested that we finish early. One person started to complain about this.

Why I asked?

Why don’t you use the extra time to go to the gym or see your kids or go to a movie?

If Hudson’s rule is valid then we should think seriously about the amount of time we spend in meetings. Why are all our meetings at least one hour? Why aren’t these half an hour?

Imagine how much time you could free up and how more productive and enjoyable your life could be.

Ken Hudson

Ken’s thinking is fast paced, as you might expect. I like his stuff and I want to know more, despite Australia being quite a hike from where I am.

I think you might like to check it out too, right here at The Speed Thinking Zone

Filed under Blog by Martin

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December 22, 2008

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often” Winston Churchill

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”
Winston Churchill

Making the effort to improve when performance is poor is tough. Especially when you are manager and it’s up to you to make difficult decisions.

Yet it’s usually the easiest thing to rapidly improve performance when you are measuring against poor results in the past.

Adding 30 percentage points on when you start at 10 is way easier than adding 30 to 70!

It’s much easier to improve on what’s bad.

What is much more challenging, is not to rest on your laurels when the going is good. You’ve done the hard work; you’ve arrived; it’s done!

Not true. Because when it gets very difficult as a manager, is when you’ve made the big changes and things are ticking along nicely. It’s at this very time when the questions need to come:-

“What else is there?”
“How can we improve on this even more?”
“Where are the next level of opportunities?”

Reviewing and changing, time after time in an ongoing upward cycle of success is when the tough really do get going.

Sure, it’s time to celebrate successes and learn from what went well. The very best managers and their teams look back into the mix and ask those questions others would pass by.

It’s a sign of quality, persistence, tenacity and great leadership that only the very best demonstrate. Showing their people how to be best in their work and their careers.

It’s the easy option to take the foot off the gas. It’s not the best option by far.

Filed under Focus on Results, Great Quotations by Martin

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