As a consultant change manager, I rarely have all the information from day 1. In fact, the conversation often goes something like this: “Here is the project title and the spec; it was written 6 months ago and has changed quite a bit. Here are a few recent emails and the main person to speak to is Frank Smith. Don’t forget, Frank can only speak to you on Friday for 17 minutes. OK, so project plan sorted and final delivery date by Monday then?”
Maximise change management potential
This might sound laughable, but with time pressure in organisations greater than ever, it’s a common tale. As new change managers, our role is not necessarily to know all of the answers regarding the organisation, but rather to ask the right questions. We will only know the right questions when we understand what we are trying to achieve.
The problem isn’t not knowing. It’s not knowing what we don’t know!
My challenge to the sponsors and hirers of change (and project) managers is this: “If you were going into a new role, what would give you the best opportunity to maximise your potential, do a brilliant job, and get great results?”
Tools for success in change management roles
Have some thoughts? Here are the top 3 tools that I believe will help change mangers in their roles:
- Vision and aims: Clearly communicate what the project is aiming to deliver and the rationale behind doing it. This allows me to sensibly critique information I gather, against these drivers.
- Network: Introduce me personally to the key network of people that know the organisation, can answer the questions I will pose in this project, and can make decisions to move it forward.
- Context: Educate me in the key elements, drivers and metrics of this business, and how this project will transform them. By giving me the right tools and information, I can deliver value quickly.
The next time you hand over a project or a piece of work, ask yourself this question: “What will [enter name here] require to allow [him/her] to do the best job possible, as quickly as possible?”