Managers are sending out an S.O.S.: handling operations takes up 100% of their time, yet managing change requires just as much energy. It all seems so impossible, unless they agree to add to an already overburdened workload (in fact, change management already takes up 30% to 50% of their time). It all leads to tremendous pressure, a feeling of never doing enough, and changes that end up being implemented without ever delivering the expected benefits.
Today’s managers seem to have no other choice but to succeed in this tour de force of performing their dual role as head of operations and change leader. The reasons for this are well known: it’s all about ensuring current profitability (via operations) and future profitability (via the launch and implementation of change projects designed to ensure long-term competitiveness). This dual role that managers have to play is all the more difficult to achieve given that change projects are often numerous and simultaneous, and their deployment often makes it necessary to adjust operations continuously. Everything piles up and the overflow is felt all the way to middle management.
Thankfully, there’s a solution. And as usual, it stems from a proper diagnosis: a recent study identified the six main reasons for “not achieving the expected benefits” after introducing organizational change. Here they are:
- Not sharing the vision and objectives of the change
- Not “walking the talk” (i.e. discordance between actions and words)
- Management’s lack of commitment to change
- Lack of team mobilization
- Little consideration given to employee concerns
- Work overload and lack of momentum
It’s a matter of prioritizing the manager’s fields of intervention, keeping in mind that his or her primary role is more about leadership than execution. The goal is not to do it all, but to make sure it all gets done, focusing on the transformation objectives and the expected benefits.
A workshop/conference on this hot topic is scheduled for next April 21. We’ll be talking about methods, tips, stress management and ways to better deal with how your team members react to change. All overworked managers should plan on being there!
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