Managing Change

I can’t begin to tell you how many articles I have read over the years about change and the difficulties of managing any change – minor or major. And why do you suppose we see this subject come up time and time again? “The only thing constant is change.” – have you heard that one? Well, it is true.

In a recent post on the Training Industry, author Andrea Shapiro discusses the many variables included in change management. Her explanation of a common situation is frighteningly accurate:

The leadership sees the bigger picture and understands the strategic direction that the department needs to take. They understand the problem and have chosen an approach to address it. The people at the other end of the hierarchy understand the day-to-day work better than anyone. They know how to get today’s responsibilities done, but may not recognize that today’s work is not enough for the future of the organization. The middle level is caught between the other two, which are askew from one another. The middle level is expected to translate the new direction for the future into tactics and goals for people focused on today’s work—a delicate balancing act that may well put working relationships at risk.

So how do we reconcile this disparity between the levels of leadership? How do we translate overarching strategy to the day to day? The major focus suggested in the article is commitment.

Leaders  who demonstrate their commitment to the change and make sure that every affected employee knows what is driving the change are taking steps toward successful implementation.

True commitment from leadership to whatever the change along with an effort to collaborate with team members will motivate the day to day changes necessary to make the change a success.

Have you had a situation where you need to manage change? Have your commitment or collaboration helped you through the change?

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