The learning curve: a new managers survival guide (Proceedings)


The learning curve: a new managers survival guide (Proceedings)

Nov 01, 2010

It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success,nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things."
Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

New Managers
     • How are they picked?
     • What skill sets are necessary?
     • Are there specific criteria for the job and is there an exhaustive and complete job description?

     • What happens when new managers come in and try to change things?
     • What happens when new initiatives are suggested?
     • What happens when the team is frustrated and we come up with solutions in staff meetings?

Diagnosing Resistance
     • Organizational change WILL run into resistance.
     • Your job is to diagnose it, not resent it or wish it would go away.
     • Experienced managers know this but still tend to apply a simple set of beliefs about change and generalize:
           o "Technicians will never do it that way!"
           o "Our receptionists job is to handle change- they won't mind!"
           o "Forget trying to ask the doctors to change anything, they won't- especially the owner!"

Diagnosing Resistance
     • ALL people who are affected by change experience some degree of emotional turmoil associated with the change.
     • Even positive changes (eustress) involve loss and uncertainty.
     • New managers have to be aware of what forms the resistance might take.

Feelings First!
     • "I will lose something of value."
     • "I don't understand what is changing and how it will affect me."
     • "I don't think this change makes sense for our practice."
     • "I have a low tolerance for change and this makes me nervous."

     • Losing something of value.
           o People will focus on their own best interests.
           o Resistance is often of a "political" nature.
           o How are "politics" expressed in a veterinary practice?
           o "It will change my job description."
           o Development of me vs. you or us vs. them culture.
           o "That won't work..."

Lack of Trust (Misunderstanding)
     • Failure to understand the implications of the change.
     • Perception that the change will cost more than it actually will.
     • Trust issues are almost always between the person implementing the change and their employees.
     • How is lack of trust exhibited in a veterinary practice?
           o Rumor mill increases.
     • Managers have to be quick to remedy rumors by clarifying them and holding employees accountable for the truth.