Nothing stays the same. And that is the #1 reason that management is so difficult.
Team members come and go. Projects are adjusted. Deadlines move. Plans don’t go as expected. New strategies. New goals. New initiatives. Change, change, change!
Even though change is a primary reason that management can be so difficult, change is only the initial “event.” It’s the transition necessitated by that change that presents the real management challenges.
As managers plan, organize, and direct work — and ensure that work gets done — they are challenged with moving their teams from what they’ve known (and are comfortable with) to what they don’t know. In other words, through transition. [See the Transition Process here]
Managers need to know how to re-orient the team to the “new” to be effective, and they need to know how they personally respond in times of change and transition. They have to get out of their own way so that they can lead the team through this transition / re-orientation process. And it is a process! It will not happen overnight.
Since this is so important, I want to say it again: it is a process! And it will NOT happen overnight.
The 5 best things managers can do to lead the team and address this #1 difficulty is to:
- Explain why the change is necessary
- Specifically describe the problem / dilemma / situation that the change will satisfy / correct / fix / make better
- Address the “people side” of the change (i.e., the impact on individuals and the team), taking into consideration if they even want the change and if they choose the change
- Have a plan with established procedures for how the team will acclimate to the change, given the level of disruption it will cause
- Communicate if the change does what you believed it would do
Everyone deserves to be on a winning team. The most successful managers lead teams through the transition process – so everyone wins!
P.S. If you would like to learn more about the Change and Transition process, and how to lead your team through it, review this workshop How to Reduce the Cost and Chaos of Change