Managing Change as Team

Is your team undergoing an exciting period of innovation, re-engineering, restructuring, or transformation? Don't you just hate it when that happens? The truth is, people don't like change. Change destroys functional team processes and makes people feel unsure of themselves. Change creates bad feelings between those trying to impose it, and those who are resisting it. Change means that people must give up something that they are familiar with, or attached to. Change makes people feel alone. Too much change can lead to overwhelm, and people will simply give up trying to keep up. A wide variety of team building activities can help all team members make the most of any changes.

Some team members will adapt to change better than others because they have been raised with in rapidly changing environments. Some will be bored, or disenchanted with the current state of affairs, and therefore, more ready for, and accepting of change than others who feel satisfied with the status quo. The team worriers will project disaster and fret about being under-resourced and over-stressed, while the team optimists might feel hopeful about a new day dawning. Worse yet, most people will revert back to their old ways of doing things the minute the pressure is off and no one is watching.

Here are ten tips for managing change in your team:

  • Plan for the change and get all stakeholders to commit to the plan.
  • Construct functional communication channels and then communicate early and often. Team Building Activities such as Operation Countdown and Mission CCS can help to improve communication skills.
  • Generate clear expectations and find ways to concretely measure progress towards fully implemented change.
  • Obtain adequate resources.
  • Create networks to support team problem solving and decision making.
  • Get everyone onboard by creating a momentum to carry the team.
  • Provide follow-through and follow-up in a timely fashion.
  • Accept mistakes as a natural part of the change process and don't shoot people for making errors.
  • Recognize and reward team effort and achievement early and often.
  • Use the KISS method (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) when developing new techniques and processes.

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