A few months back as I was poking around on social media I saw
that a colleague of mine received a promotion at the organization she was at
from a service delivery lead to the manager of change management. While I knew
that the role was a new one for her, I understood that there were many consistencies
between working relationships and team members. The big difference was that she
was now the manager of a small team and the owner of the change management
process. But I knew that she was always up for challenges and she would be
getting her game face on.
Recently I bumped into her and asked how things were
shaking out and she indicated that she actually liked the old job better. After
asking why, she explained that initially things seemed to be going good but
then her director indicated that she was too nice and that she should ‘drop the
hammer’ on people more often.
I was surprised since having worked with her she always
seemed fair but firm. She continued to explain that while people were following
the process the leadership was worried that people might start to go off course
if they weren’t reeled in. In some cases she thought that they were ok with her
being a bit tough on some people and maybe not so much on others.
I asked her what her plan was.
She said that to start with everyone knows what is expected
of them from the time a change was submitted until it was closed, and that wasn’t
about to change. In fact she went on to say that since she took over people
started to indicate that they felt more comfortable asking her questions than
her predecessor (who apparently was released due his ‘good nature’)
My suggestion was to look at the big picture and relay that
you can ‘drop the hammer’ but there will be consequences in doing so. The thing
I told her to remember there is a big difference in challenging people on some
questionable details in a change, as compared with rejecting a change because
people were missing some fields or details that could be easily attained. A
mentor of mine once said that you need to pick your battles and if the outcome
has an adverse effect which is worse than getting someone to fill in the form
then you need to make some decisions. This isn’t to say that you can’t coach,
teach and steer people in the right direction, on the contrary. You just need
to figure out the weight at which you apply the force. After all we are already
facing a PR challenge with the business when we can’t be nimble enough to
manage changes at the rate the business may be looking for.
Further to this I explained that she should have a frank
discussion with the leaders who are seeing an issue. Managing change management
after all is a juggling act of technical understanding, governance and people
She agreed, and decided that not only discussing with the
leadership team but also showing that there was a measurable improvement in the
adoption of changes since she took over the new role was also worth discussing.
Labels: Collaboration, Customer service, ITSM, Service Delivery, Working Relationships