Ready to play Poker?
Preparation for successful change is vital, particularly if you are restructuring. If you are changing peoples jobs you are changing a big part of their life so you need to be sure of the proposed changes, whether they be the purpose of the role, it’s scope or the big one-whether the role is actually needed.
That prep takes a little time if you want to manage the change well. Its not always about having the decision worked out fully (and of course your local laws on consultation changes of employment will govern a lot of that), its about prepping your managers for the questions they will face, the risks that might occur and the impact on people of a change.
I am not going to blog on that today, but the aspect I wanted to raise was the impact on your managers of walking around with all this information in their heads before the change is announced.
Its hard going to meetings and keeping the intentions of those meetings secret. Its hard to manage the questions that come your way; the ‘What are you up to boss?’ questions. Its even harder to look at people whose lives you are affecting without that showing or the new reality that is in the managers head from creeping in to the conversation. I have heard managers begin to talk about duties, that were being worked up in new job descriptions behind the scenes, as if they were a reality. I have known managers who began thinking that people had begun to suspect something, so in turn they began to suspect that people were looking at their files. I have met managers who tried to hide every moment of he day so that they did not bump in to anyone in the corridor in case they were asked a question.
If your organisation recognises that people truly are their biggest asset, you will be aware of the impact of change on the receivers and you will possibly prep leaders in how to deliver announcements of change, manage bad news etc (if you don’t then contact me!). So if you are doing that its maybe not a big leap to recognise that you need to prep your managers for the pre-announcement phase. How they handle themselves, how they deal with the possible stresses of knowing what they know and how they deal with curious questions that come their way before they are ready.
Not everyone has a poker face. Not everyone can separate themselves from the emotion of the change, not everyone can handle questions smoothly on the run. Not everyone is a born change manager (managers don’t do this every day, thats what people like me are for).
Are your managers ready with their poker faces? Or do they need prepared?