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‘Creative destruction’ is the term coined last century for describing the frenetic pace of technological and cultural change. Industries develop new techniques, and companies compete to employ them as rapidly as possible so as to capture the rapidly shifting market. It’s no surprise that in an era this marked by change, change management has become its own important field, handling the institutional problems associated with changes in a business model.
If you’re managing a business that’s anywhere near the cutting edge, you’re likely to need some training on how to lead effectively and adapt to those changes. Let’s consider what you can learn if you decide to pursue change management training, and what some of the pros and cons might be.
What You Can Learn
Change can come in many forms to a company. It can be an industry-wide technological revolution that requires an overhaul of your business practices going forward. Or it can be a simple restructuring of your business’s methods to accommodate the efficiency recommendations of a recently engaged analyst.
Either way, your staff will need to be guided through this process, and it won’t be easy. Tempers may flare, attrition may be faced, and the manager’s responsibility is to handle the transition with as much competence and ease as they can muster. A good education in leadership skills is a beginning, but since the requirements of change management are so particular, you may find yourself in need of specific training.
The training will comprise the entire process of transition, from acknowledgment and effective communication of the coming changes to your staff through re-training, readjusting, and if necessary, re-hiring. You’ll need to be on the ball through the entire period in order to minimize the fallout and hit the ground running once the new system is in place.
How You Can Learn It
Change management training courses are offered for different levels of management according to their immediate needs. If it’s not dire or monumental, you might consider researching the subject yourself and familiarizing yourself with the common methods. They should apply to many situations, and much of the material is consistent across projects.
Another alternative is to engage the services of a change management specialist, who can act as buffer and liaison over a difficult period, listening and catering to the concerns of your staff while still trying to bring home the position of management on the necessity of the change. It’s not an easy job description, and it may not be cheap, but if you have concerns about your own ability to manage the transition and are aware that it will be a steep road to climb, you well want to consider finding someone you trust to do the job.
Change management training is often necessary to offset the negative aspects of a transition, and move forward more quickly with the positive. It’s often effective at resisting bitterness or torpor, and can mean the difference between retaining your competitive edge during a difficult restructuring time – and not.
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