Managing change and uncertainty

Whether it is the impact of new technology, different management strategies, the introduction of new processes, voluntary structural reform, or new legislative requirements, we all have to manage ourselves and our staff through change and uncertainty.

A useful tool in handling change and uncertainty is the Change Flow Cycle.

Based on the work of Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, author of the famous ground breaking book called 'On Death and Dying', this model allows users to see where they stand at any point in time on a particular change issue, such as the impact of new legislation on work processes.

The crux of the model is to identify what stage you are at, at any moment on a particular change. 'Am I' or 'Are my staff' in denial about a particular change at the moment, or 'I think I am resisting this change at the moment, how can I get out of it?' Once the level is identified you can develop strategies to move on.

Resistance is, of course, the area of most concern for both colleagues and managers. There are a number of strategies to get you or your staff out of the resistance stage.

First you need to understand if your fear is valid or invalid that is, will you really be working longer hours if this change is introduced. If not then it is an invalid fear.

During this stage, managers need to provide considerable information about the change and listen to colleagues concerns and suggestions. Is the pace of change going to stop? Think of the technological changes we have all discovered in the past ten years and their impact on our workplaces &endash; mobile phones, the Internet, CDs and digital cameras.

Change is here to stay but are we prepared adequately to manage the personal and team changes we will encounter in the future?

As a specialist in customising training to the needs of their clients, New South Wales LGSA Learning has a well established inhouse training service to help Councils through the changes which lie ahead. One of the in house programs is 'Managing People Through Change and Uncertainty'.

LGSA Learning will run Managing People Through Change and Uncertainty on 3 April 2001 in Sydney.

For further information about this or their other inhouse or public programs, contact Darryl Rubiolo, telephone (02) 9242 4182.

* Copy supplied by LGSA Learning.