Managing Organizational Change

June 24, 2014

Janet was furious, hurt and definitely disengaged from her position as Senior Director of Operations at a small healthcare service.  “I have worked with the company for 15 years and have always been considered a high-potential. My contributions over the years have helped ensure the profitability of the company.”

A new senior leadership team was implementing change and Janet felt she was now designated to the sidelines instead of the playing field. When I heard her story, I agreed that the organization’s new senior leadership team was not handling the change initiative in a way that would ensure the engagement of employees, especially their top performers. 

Unfortunately, Janet had a choice to make: leave the company she was working for or find a way to work with the new team. The latter option meant that Janet would be building her brand in the hopes that the new leadership team would recognize her value proposition to the company and new opportunities would present themselves.

During times of change you have to distinguish what you have no control over and what is within your control.  Although frustrating, most employees have no control over senior leadership decisions; however what you do have complete control over is how you react to the changes and how you interact with your colleagues and leadership  You fully own the outcome of how people experience you during this time. 

Behaviors to Avoid During Change:

  • Emoting all over the place. Do you tell your “tale of woes” to everyone and anyone who will listen?
  • Being hyper critical of every change that is made by the new team and not acknowledging and identifying the good.
  • Passive aggressive behavior. Are you silently checking out and not contributing to the success of the new change initiative and the organization?

Maintaining Personal Performance During Change

If you maintain your personal performance during times of organizational change, your reputation will be enhanced. Although you may feel like you are losing control in many aspects of your life, you can control your brand/reputation by re-evaluating your skills, knowledge, and expertise to ensure they are in-line with what the company needs for the future. This also ensures your marketability if you determine it is best to leave your present position.

Here are some of the things you should consider doing during times of change:

  • fine tune your skills;
  • build/reinforce credibility;
  • gain new exposure;
  • take pride in your accomplishments;
  • stay busy;
  • set personal/career goals; and
  • do not ignore uncertainty -- you must work through it.




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