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让团队更“善变”

作者:Annabelle Vultee 2018-04-16 14:28:00 0

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我不是什么心理学家,但从我过往从事变革管理经验来看,我可以明确地告诉你,“改变”是人们最不喜欢的词之一。通常一提到改变,有些人的表情仿佛是没打麻药就给他家猫剪掉了指甲一样,异常痛苦,也极度错误。他们会说,不要什么改变,至少我不想改。

但不幸的是,改变是灵感和进步的源泉,也是成长的最大引擎。你见过一个在(相对)开放市场中,不改变产品、服务、定价、体验和战略就能取得巨大成功的企业吗?如果有,那他们的专利有效期一定很长。

我一直好奇为什么有人大胆拥抱变化,有些人却极度厌恶。回顾自身职业生涯,有两点非常值得一提。一是,我总是更加关注未来,而非过去和现在。二是,我始终认为事情可以变得更好。这对于一个变革管理者来说非常好,但是在不该变革的地方,就不那么好了。

按着克里夫优势识别方法,我在工作中努力发挥自身优势,持续寻找需要或者应该改变的地方,同时让更多的人和我站在一条船上。如果你是,应该是,或者想要成为一个变革管理者,那么在进行变革时,应该考虑以下五点:

1别担心不受欢迎

是的,正如字面意思一样。现状就像毯子一样,温暖舒适地裹在身上,但你必须把它剥掉才行。一开始进行变革的时候,你不会交到很多朋友。五年前刚来中国的时候,我心里想着的都是工作。公司声誉不高,盈利惨淡。我们需要做出一些痛苦改变让公司运行更加专业化。 我开始着力了解财务、人员、市场及公司的运作情况,而非花时间了解个人,当然也没有让他们了解我。我这种“冷漠”的处事方式给自己赢了个“冰雪女王”的绰号。然而,一年之后,变化慢慢开始发生,团队文化开始改善,业绩也不断提升,我也越来越少地听到那个绰号了。我相信,受不受欢迎并不重要,重要的是敢于说出你认为可以给公司、客户或者员工创造价值的想法或措施。

2. 制定方案,清楚表达 

如果你需要他人帮着执行计划,那就不能将想法只放在自己脑子里。改变的做出需要各种计划的落实。你自己要有远景和目标,以及知道为什么要这么做。这对于公司或团队领导来说非常困难,但更困难的是如何及时地向其他人清楚阐释并获得支持。我的公司过去几年发生了两个巨变。一方面是,太多人参与战略和决策制定,阻碍变化发生,并造成困惑。另一方面是,决策者很难清楚表达远景,但又想获得支持。“时间抹杀一切交易”这话是没错的。变革管理实质上是你和你希望影响的人之间的一种交易。人们不可能花大把时间去等着了解你在乎什么、为什么以及他们该做什么。因此,一旦有了清晰的目标并且知道怎么去分享的时候,就要花时间制定一个详实的沟通方案,以说明步骤和影响。

3. 保持灵活

有了方案之后,你要对新信息和意外反应持开放态度。因为 变化本身就不是固化的。你需要对自己的方案深思熟虑并且花时间沟通,但也要愿意做出修改。五年前开始调整公司组织架构时,我们心中有一个既定计划,但开始是实施时,管理层发现,我们的学习中心情况更加复杂,无论原来的计划在纸面上看起来多可行,现实中就是行不通。进而,我们让员工承担更多的职责,他们之后会告诉我们他们的热情所在,他们梦想的工作是什么,并且大胆说出来。我坚信人们应该做他们感兴趣的工作,这样他们的能力会与之匹配,也是公司所需要的。画个文氏图你就会发现,最中心的部分是买都买不来的激情。因此,我们在确保既定目标不受影响的情况下,对原有计划进行了一些小调整。如果我们不够灵活,就会损失很多人才和好的想法。

4. 除非所做的改变对客户、员工和公司都有力,否则不要改变。

这个绝对是经验之谈。以前,我总是以公司整体利益优先,这样短期来讲对公司是有好处的,但是长期来讲不利于任何一方。最近,我们启用了一个新系统,旨在让我们的服务顾问花更多时间服务于学生学习过程,同时让很多行政事务自动化。通过关注员工和学生的需求,我们为课程顾问重新设定职业路线,大大提升了员工留任率。对于像我们这样的服务业公司来说,是非常难得的。当你考虑进行重大变革时,最好先问问自己这个变革对谁有利、对谁不利、对谁影响不大。如果这个变革不利于任何人,那就要再深思熟虑一下了。

5. 做决定时不要脱离现实

制定计划时,要寻求他人的意见。因为其他人可能在某些领域更具专业知识和创造力,可以帮助你增加方案的可信度,并取得更好的效果。与你喜欢的人一起谋划未来也是件非常有趣的事。我以前的老板,有的会寻求他人意见,然后自己来做决定。有的会寻求他人意见然后达成一致,有的根本不考虑别人的意见。从我的经验来看,寻求意见总会获得更多的赞同。令人感到意外的是,那些寻求他人意见后自己做决定的人,最获尊重并最为成功。作为领导者,我们没有办法想到或者了解所有事情。确保你获得不同观点,同时建立信任,尤其是在你刚就任新职位的时候。

要尝试享受变革过程中的美好。成功的变革最终会比毫无变化更受欢迎。这一点,你能在现实中找到安慰。因为没有人会说,我还希望公司里还在用拨号的调制解调器和传真机。

Annabelle Vultee/文

Annabelle Vultee是英孚教育英语培训中心首席运营官。

(附英文版)——

I am no psychologist, but through my rolesin change management, I can tell you “change” is among peoples’ absolute leastfavorite words.  I often get a facialread that resembles what I imagine someone to look like if I told them I justdeclawed their kitten without anesthesia. SO PAINFUL.  SO WRONG.  DON’T DO IT – NOT TO ME.

It is so unfortunate because change is hometo inspiration and progress and it is simply the biggest engine of growth.  Have you seen a company in a (relatively)free market that hasn’t changed its products, services, pricing, experience orstrategy that has been wildly successful? If so, they will have a heck of a time when their patent expires.

When thinking about change I have wonderedwhy some people embrace it and others loathe it.  Reflecting on my own life, I have learned afew things about myself during my career and two of those things are 1) that Ithink about the future a lot more than I think about the past or present; and2) that I always think things can be better. These are great for someone in a change management role, but not so goodwhen things should not be touched.

In the vein of CliftonStrengthsTM, I am going to work on playing to my strengths and keep looking forthings that need to and should change, but I also want more people in myboat.  If you are a change-maker or aresupposed to be or want to be, here are 5 considerations for launching change inyour workplace:

1、Don’t beafraid of being unpopular.  

Yup,it’s just like it sounds.  Status quo islike a warm blanket that you are ripping off. That won’t make you many friends- at first.When I arrived in China a little over 5years ago, I was all business.  Ourcompany had just emerged from some unflattering PR and wasn’t making money, sowe had to make some swift and somewhat painful changes to professionalize ourbusiness. I was focused on understanding the finances, the people, the marketand how we operated.   I didn’t get toknow people personally, nor did I let people get to know me.  My stoic approach earned me the nickname “IceQueen”.  A year into the job, however, Iheard that name less and less as the changes took hold, the culture began toimprove and the results lifted rapidly. No matter who is in the room or what the occasion, I believe it isimportant to say what you believe will add value to the business, customers oremployees, regardless of how popular or unpopular. 

2. Have a plan andbe able to articulate it. 

Your vision can’t only be in your head ifyou need others to help you execute. Change requires a plan to get from here tothere.  You need a road map and an ideaof what the destination has to hold and why that’s where we want to go.  As hard as that is for the head of thecompany or the leadership team, sometimes what’s even tougher is being able toexplain it in a timely manner to get others rallied.  Our company has gone through two big changesin the recent past.  One where there aremultiple people in charge of the vision or plan, which has stalled any changesand has created confusion; the other where one decision maker is having troubleexpressing their vision but wants to rally people.  If you’ve heard the expression “Time killsall deals”, it’s so true.  And changemanagement is essentially a deal between you and those whose actions or rolesyou plan to impact.  People can wait onlyso long to know what you care about, why and what role they play.  Take the time to write a solid communicationplan with timelines and specifics on staff impact as soon as you have a clearvision and you know how you want to share it.

3. Be flexible.  

You can have a plan, but be open to newinformation or unexpected responses to some changes.  Change can’t be rigid; by nature, it isdynamic. Yes, you need to put a lot of thought into a plan and communicateit…then you need to be willing to change it. When we adjusted the structure of my organization five years ago we hada specific structure in mind, but when it came time to roll it out, at thefirst level of management we realized that the dynamic in our schools wouldn’twork with the original plan, no matter how good it was on paper.  Further, once we started asking people toassume new roles, often times people would come back with more insights ontheir real passions and roles they’ve been dreaming of and this was theirchance to speak up.  I believe stronglythat people should be in jobs that interest them for which their skills are agood fit and where the company has a need. When you get that Venn Diagram overlay, at the heart rests passion,which is something you can’t buy.  So, wemade several small adjustments to the final plan, but they continued to supportthe overall vision.  We would have losttoo many good people and good ideas if we weren’t flexible.

4. Don’t changeunless you know you are doing something better for your customers, employees andcompany (all 3). 

This is one insight I learned the hardway.  I used to always prioritize companyover all else and that was often great for the company in the short team, butnot so good in the long-term for anyone. Recently we launched a new program designed to allow more time for ourservice consultants to spend with our students on their learning progress andto automate many administrative tasks. By focusing on our staff and students first we ended up redesigning thecareer path for our service consultants and have dramatically improvedretention which is fantastic for a service organization like ours.  When planning a big change it may be helpfulto ask yourself who wins, who loses and who is neutral.  If anyone loses, think twice.

5. Don’t decide everything in a vacuum. 

Solicit input on your plans and where othershave expertise or creativity greater than yours in specifics areas to improveyour outcomes and build trust and credibility in those plans. It’s also so much more fun to design the future with people you loveto work with. I have had bosses who solicit inputto make their own decisions, bosses who solicit input to make decisions byconsensus and bosses who don’t solicit input at all.  In my experience the bosses who solicit inputalways gain more buy-in.  Andsurprisingly, those who solicit input, but who make their own decision tend tobe the most respected and successful in my experience.  As leaders we can’t think of or knoweverything.  Make sure you getperspective, while building trust and credibility- especially if you are new toa role.

When it comes to change, try to enjoy theride while you build a road toward the future. Successful change is always better received in the end than no change atall.  You can take solace in thattruth.  Nobody ever says, “I wish we werestill using a dial up modem, RolodexTMor fax machine to run our business”. 

 

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