Managing Change

Whether it is introducing new technology, moving the company, buying or selling parts of the company, being sold or being bought by another company, going through the wrong part of the economic cycle, change is everywhere and change is constant.

change management picture

Companies that are successful, become successful and remain successful because they can not only deal with change but actually actively manage change.

Every change in your company has an impact on your workers, there is no change in any company that does not affect the workers at that company and change can only be created by the workers in a company.

So managing change is managing the workforce. In order to manage something, you will need to be able to measure what you are managing first. Most managers are not actively aware of their company culture and do little to manage it day to day. In times when change is upon you, it is important to understand what your company’s culture is and have an idea of what you want it to be or what you want to preserve or change about that culture. Company culture starts at the top with your leaders, is carried by your senior managers and should be rooted in the attitudes, beliefs and actions of the workforce. Many things can indicate or create company culture; relations between co-workers and between managers and their staff, beliefs held by the top level managers in the company, a certain pace of work, policies and procedures, meeting formats and frequencies, approach to social media, promotions and recruitment practices etc.

Effective change management will have the following components;

  • Clear directions and follow up by the top of the organization
  • Involvement of all relevant stakeholders as early as possible
  • Setting expectations and holding people accountable
  • Showing measurable, visible evidence of the desired change

None of this is rocket science. This is all doable but you need to think about, plan it and actively manage it or the change will happen to you and the results will be unpredictable and may not be what you need or want.

“Change is disturbing when it is done to us, exhilarating when it is done by us.”
Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Let’s talk about email

Or actually, let’s talk about communication. All communication is designed to change behavior. If you do not want to change behavior, including updating people by giving them information or sharing something, it does not serve a meaningful purpose.

My readers know my hang up with R=Q*A so in this case, the result of the change in behavior is depending on the quality of the message you are sending and the acceptance of it by your target audience. If they do not accept it at all, you can have the greatest quality information ever, but you won’t get any results. If you make the communication acceptable or more acceptable to them, the results will increase a lot. You will need to find out what medium is best to use for your communication to ensure you have the best option of changing the behavior and making an impact.

So let’s just go over some things that I hate in email communications and then send me your views!

Having a terrible subject line. Or even worse, having a subject line that says “re:…….” but meanwhile the topic has changed and the content of the email is not at all about the subject in the subject line anymore.

While we are on the topic of subjects, try to stay on topic, stick with the subject in the subject line and do not introduce a totally different discussion in the final paragraph and expect me to have read that and react on it. Just start your email with what you want from me. Like: “this is to ask your opinion about….”, or ” please provide this …. report to me by …..”. etc.

Forgetting the attachments. Really there are systems that will ask you if you don’t want to send an attachment when you mention the word. USE THEM.

Replying to all and then all replying with one-word emails to say “thanks”. It clogs up my inbox and it serves no purpose.

Having to read through several paragraphs before I find the actual punchline or request or action item. Try to be concise, control your writer’s instinct for your memoirs and do not bother your colleagues with it.  If you need so many words, maybe email is not the right medium to use. Plan a meeting, write a position paper.

Finally, I want to mention the use of the text talk abbreviations. I may be oldfashioned but I don’t know them all and you should use them for tweets to save digits and stay in the 140 characters or for working on your phone when you don’t want to push all these tiny keys.

Talking about working on your phone, another gripe I have is that more and more people seem to think that they can live their life and do all business only with their wonderful smartphone. Attachments I sent do not get downloaded and read because their phone can’t handle it and messages that do not fit on the first page of an iPhone easily get ignored. Please fire up that PC or laptop from time to time and be serious about doing business and having meaningful communications in business.

Oh well, those were some of my hot buttons. What are yours? Shoot me an email or tweet.