As I’ve posted recently, if you are working in corporate IT, you know that frequent organizational changes are a given. No sooner does an IT department settle down and start functioning again after an organizational announcement and another change is being discussed. For managers, this is a time of great stress and great opportunity. Many times, as a manager, one is privy to the soon to be announced changes but can’t speak openly because all the details haven’t been fully finalized yet. HR job code changes are yet to be implemented, people need to re-aligned to new cost center structures and financial budgets need to be adjusted to reflect the pending new organization. Whether, as a manager, you are aligning to a new boss or gaining/losing responsibilities and/or people, now is the time to take advantage of the chaos and achieve a strong position to deliver in the new structure. This article offers some tips for corporate IT managers to exceed in the throws of organizational change.
Honor your responsibility as a manager at all times.
First and foremost, make sure you honor your responsibility as a manager within your organization. Sure, you may have some inside info that so and so is going to get canned or what’s her name is going to get layered, but always remember you are a manager entrusted with certain confidential information that you can’t share. Avoid the urge to gossip at all times. Focus on discussing the structure, goals and objectives of the pending announcement rather than the impact on specific individuals. The last thing you need nor want is to get a reputation for not being trustworthy.
Don’t relax, now is the time to strike.
Everything seems up in the air. Will you be gaining that new system to support? Will you be gaining or losing a percentage of your team headcount? What does your new boss expect? What has your current boss not shared yet that could completely change your strategy for the new org? The final throws of organizational changes can be exceedingly stressful times for the corporate IT manager. One urge is to just sit tight and wait for everything to settle down. This is absolutely not the time to be idle while your peers are gaining advantages.
Be open and transparent with what you know and more importantly, what you don’t know.
Times are certainly uncertain. Even if your boss confides in you an element of the change that seems a sure thing, always consider that your boss maybe misinformed or hoping that the change occurs rather than definitely knowing it will. Thus, make sure to always caveat your comments with “now, this could totally change, but right now, this is what I know” while you are pitching how the “A” player could be a good fit for your team. Describe the logic, as you know it, for the new structure, what the goals, objectives and priorities are, etc.
Be open about what you need to succeed with your new boss.
With all the change comes the ability to leverage that change to your advantage beyond grabbing a strong new team member. If you think that you could add more value if you had responsibility for an additional functional area, now is the time to make the pitch. If you think you could add more value if you could get a few more members on your team to dig deeper or provide more coverage, now is the time to sell that idea. Even if you get shot down, you still get points for looking to contribute more. Plus, your boss maybe looking for ideas on how to expand his or her coverage and wasn’t even aware of your idea.
As many know, organizational change is stressful. Trying employing the tips in this article to channel that stress energy to something productive for your team and your career.