The Opinionated Manager

learning to trust my own opinions and expertise

Change Management


After last weeks quick and dirty post on Teamwork I started realizing that with all the staffing changes happening and planned, the dynamics of the team were shifting, and I hadn’t been paying the team the attention I need to.
And as is so often the way with these things, timing was on my side and the very next day an email popped into my inbox for a Leading Change workshop.

It’s not so much the content of the training that I was keen for so much as the opportunity to reflect and refocus.

It worked a treat – as with almost all training dealing with leadership and management, it succeeds or fails based on the competence of the facilitator – and I was happy with our Workshop Leader and the way she brought in questions and discussions at the same time as continuing to keep things moving forward.

Rachel from the VI Blog tweeted the other day about being in a training session where one participant Just Wouldn’t Shut Up. I do hope I’m not that bad, but my general shyness disappears in training environments and I just want to ask ask ask and share share share. (I’m fascinating to listen to, don’t you know?). I held myself back s bit, so hopefully I wasn’t too much of a time hog, but much in the way of writing this blog, speaking things out loud at a workshop helps me to solidify what I am thinking and see things so much more clearly.

So what did I take away from the session? A few little tidbits that I resonated with me:

  • A lot of people present were confident with changing processes, but much much less confident with the idea of influencing people to join in and help progress the change.  Definitely put myself in that group!
  • Where there is a lack of real and timely information the void is quickly filled by background gossip and speculation.  Yep, seen that happen a few million times before.
  • One of the keys to managing expectations is to have a clear grasp on what is OUTSIDE of scope.  I can see the sense in that, but my own history tells me that I usually only figure it out WAY down the track…

But mostly the training session has got me reflecting on how I am engaging and directing the team – keeping them informed about the changes, and more than that, giving them a better understanding of some of the constraints around staffing and budgets, so that they can appreciate a bit better why some decisions are made. As someone with a fair bit of experience around corporate budgets, and staff planning, it us easy to forget that most members of the team don’t think about this beyond: can we have more staff and can we buy a new whiteboard!


5 comments on “Change Management

  1. Have a laugh on me
    September 3, 2013

    I think there is a fine line between being a “helen have a chat” and asking questions everyone else is thinking – you probably nailed it!

  2. always josefa (@always_josefa)
    September 4, 2013

    Perhaps it is hard to always have a clear grasp of what it outside our expectations, maybe just knowing that there are things outside our control is enough sometimes. Training and education is important and necessary ~ regardless of what stage you are in your career, great insights x Josefa from #teamIBOT

  3. Tegan
    September 4, 2013

    It’s so great that you are able to recognise when you need to move and change to adapt with the environment. There are so many people who can’t see that.

  4. EssentiallyJess
    September 4, 2013

    I’m usually the vocal one in these kind of situations as well.
    Funny, I hadn’t thought about the gossip thing before, but you are of course right. I can see it so clearly now.

  5. Rachel
    September 4, 2013

    Lol I’ve only just gotten around to reading this. I can tell you straight dude… you and that woman in my workshop are NOTHING alike. Vocal is fine, asking questions and sharing your experiences is fine.

    What is NOT fine is deciding you know more than the facilitator and hi-jacking other people’s questions by constantly interrupting the facilitator while she tries to answer them. Also speaking to people from not-for-profit organisations in a patronising way and saying things like “in the ‘corporate world’ we expect you charities to show ROI'” like they are retarded or something and… look I’m getting all worked up just remembering what an ass-hat she was! Needless to say you are nothing like her 🙂

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This entry was posted on August 31, 2013 by in Reflections and tagged , , , , , .

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