Within the past 10 years, a lot of changes have been made in management and notably in the healthcare industry. A lot of managers have been asked for change management in addition to team management. They had to change a way of working, the deliverables, or simply to be more efficient and improve the processes. It is also a required skill in some job interviews!
However, despite a lot of articles and content available in Google or books, learning to manage is like learning to ride a bike; it is very difficult to start from scratch and run this type of project by yourself without being prepared. Most of the companies work with consultants, especially if changes are tricky to implement, if they have to go fast, if the changes include a lot of people in different teams or cultures, etc. It is easier this way because you are being guided and are receiving external help. But sometimes you can’t afford to have consultants working for you, so here are 5 tips to know before you start:
- Set up a SMART goal: the objective should be ambitious and help motivate your team, but be feasible and realistic too.
- Involve other people: you can’t expect to run a project alone, you have to set up a project team and an action plan. This team doesn’t have to be your entire team, but it has to be relevant and include people who will have to experiment with the new organization, not only subject matter experts. Moreover, the people you have involved in the project will help you to implement the actions.
- Ask for help: if you can’t afford external help, find a coach or a mentor that will guide you. Change management is not easy, and it is always more difficult to implement that it seems at the beginning.
- Don’t start without the blessing of your boss: don’t assume that nobody will show up to say ‘no’ - people usually hate changes and you will find roadblocks in your way. You will need the support of your manager or even the CEO.
- Be gentle with yourself and allow time: you will probably have to adjust things, you will surely have delays and unexpected events on your road.
If you follow these rules, you will be more comfortable managing a stressed and reluctant team to change for good. Take your time, ask for help, and celebrate victories, even the smallest ones!
Cecile has been working for 20 years with a large spectrum of clients and companies, especially overseas on operational positions and consulting/coaching roles. As a coach, she is focusing on two different fields : health care and cross-cultural management. She helps and supports leaders and their teams develop or acquire skills in leadership and communication in order to improve team building and obtain significant results, despite intercultural differences. She has both a technical and marketing background and has been trained in coaching in both France and USA.