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close this bookHundred Tips for a Better Management (Aga Khan Foundation, 1993, 70 pages)
close this folderTraining II
View the document(introduction...)
View the document94. Prepare your staff for change
View the document95. Learn from the experiences of others
View the document96. Seek out new opportunities
View the document97. Getting a new idea adopted
View the document98. Practice managing change


Change means that choices have to be made. Let others participate in those choices so that they have some ownership in the outcome. (Brad Lee Thompson, Management expert)

94. Prepare your staff for change

[References - 77]

Managers must make room for changes that will allow them to function better and ultimately serve their clients better. Such changes can occur in the form of a new policy or programme strategy, new technology, a switch in staffing, a new location, etc. Introducing something new is likely to be met with some resistance and misgiving. It thus becomes the responsibility of the manager to minimise the effects of change and smooth the transition.

Know that people don't resist change. They resist being changed.

To better manage the changes that will come to your organisation, get your staff involved in the process. Include them in; identifying the need for change planning the change implementing the change monitoring the results and working to improve them

95. Learn from the experiences of others

[References - 78]

Managers can learn a great deal from the experiences of others, particularly when introducing quality improvements to an organisation for the first time. The following are some recommendations to avoid common pitfalls encountered by many managers. They can help to reinforce the quality guidelines that you may already have developed for your programme.

  • Recognise that quality is also a leadership issue. Quality improvements will depend upon how management thinks, behaves, and structures the quality system.

  • Take care of the basics. You can introduce new systems and technology without having staff who are skilled in using them.

  • Implement systems and technical change with social change

  • Use a simple and practical definition of quality that relates to everyone's job.

  • Listen to all the experts, but ultimately make your own choices.

  • Broaden your scope. Learn from other organisations, even the ones that are not doing well, and familiarise yourself with all the various aspects of your programme.

  • Concentrate on a value-driven approach, that is, value quality over financial return.

96. Seek out new opportunities

[References - 79]

Opportunities are time-savers. They are sudden chances to jump more than one step at a time toward a goal. Here are some suggestions for making and taking advantage of opportunities:

  • Know where you are going. Otherwise, you won't be able to spot an opportunity when it arises.

  • Tell people what you are interested in, be enthusiastic about your aims.

  • Make yourself available. Place yourself where opportunities are likely to occur.

  • Keep your eyes open. Opportunities are not always obvious.

  • They may be disguised as problems.

  • Be flexible. You can't always control when an opportunity will occur, so be prepared to reschedule your work to make time available when an opportunity comes along.

  • Expect your share of good fortune. Chances are good that you will get your opportunity.

  • Opportunities are usually worth investing in. If the opportunity is what you are waiting for, don't hesitate to invest in it, borrow, if necessary.

  • Don't wait for others. If you want to involve others but they aren't ready, go ahead anyway. They can always join you later.

  • Don't over analyse. Be careful not to procrastinate, ponder too much, or study the issue for too long. The opportunity may slip away.

  • Be rational. Don't gamble. Taking a calculated risk is all-right because you know the odds.

97. Getting a new idea adopted

[References - 80]

Managerial courage is the expression of ideas that are different from the current consensus.Harvey A. Hornstein, Management expert

Harvey Hornstein studied 200 US and Japanese firms and identified five guidelines for successfully introducing new ideas:

  1. Watch your focus. Stick to business issues, or frame your concern as a business issue. If you focus on changing the performance of superiors, subordinates, or ethical issues, your chances of succeeding are poor.
  2. Watch your credibility. Your credibility is in your area of expertise, so changes you propose should be in your area of expertise.
  3. Be direct. Don't rely on long, drawn-out procedures, memos, letters, reports, to promote the change. Act directly, speak to people directly.
  4. Create supporters. You aren't likely to succeed without support. Meet with people who will be affected by the change and enlist them as part of your team.
  5. Timing is everything. Change is more likely to be acceptable if it addresses a problem that currently affects people. If there is no problem, they will not see any value in change for change sake.

98. Practice managing change

[References - 81]

Here are some tips for being a successful change agent:

  1. Share your excitement about the upcoming change. People need this to replace their former vision.

  2. Share as much information as you can about the change. This helps people to deal with anxieties and uncertainties about their own future, and helps avoid the spread of misunderstandings and rumours.

  3. Invite others to participate in the choices that have to be made about the change. That will generate ownership of the change.

  4. Keep surprises to a minimum. Communicate the plan in small, easy-to-understand steps.

  5. Go fast enough to keep people interested and motivated, but not so fast that confusion and uncertainty become a problem.

  6. Communicate your expectations for performance under the change clearly and consistently.

  7. Highlight the benefits of the change as soon as they become real.

  8. If someone is going to lose because of the change, inform them early and help them to find a way to become winners, also.

  9. Change only that which is necessary to change. Some familiarity with past routines is healthy for continuity and efficient operations.

  10. Overcommunicate. Never assume that you have been completely understood, particularly by those who may be resisting the change.