Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Vital, Missing Soft Skill

Whether it is a professional firm, a business or a not-for-profit, many in upper management have a common complaint that workers and staff don’t deal with, or want, change. That rationale is often the reason why individuals are laid off or frozen out and not consulted. I wonder if the problem isn’t an opposition to change, but rather that very few people are skilled at managing change.

Interestingly, there is increased attention to the development and perfection of soft skills. Training is provided in such areas as listening better, negotiation, consensus building, project management, etc. However, I haven’t noticed much employee training on developing and perfecting change management skills.
How good are you and others at your organization at:
· Recognizing the need for change,
· Anticipating changes affecting your industry or profession short- and long-term,
· Identifying and evaluating the steps that need to be followed when making a change,
· Adopting to change,
· Encouraging others to change, and
· Making a change quickly?

The impact of new technology, commoditization of good and services, online communities, globalization, and the economic environment are just a few of the factors requiring businesses to be more nimble. By developing change management abilities at all levels, both the entity and the individuals will benefit

Upper management needs to understand that to change isn’t about getting rid of employees and staff, but rather about creating an environment where employees and staff are the contributors to change.

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