I am about to start a big move in my team set-up; one of our remote teams will be moving “back” to the “mother-ship”. We only had them working remotely for 2 years – but have realized this is not the best option. The reasons are many folded but leverage of knowledge and expertise are the top ones. The remote team is doing a great job – working really well and hard, so it has definitely nothing to do with the staff – but everything with the set-up.
To successfully execute this move, planning will be key, so I am in the zone of “Change Management”, leveraging on the experiences I made in the past.
What is the key to successful change management?
The change team needs to be completely aligned in their communication; as Professor Philip Stiles of Cambridge University puts it: “an elevator speech – preferably practice so you can all say the same thing almost “word for word””.
You need to be open and honest (keeping anything back will only result in lost credibility). Make sure you are available to the people who are affected (both direct and in-direct). Although I keep a very open door policy in the office – it can be daunting to go to your “boss’s boss”. I make a point of drinking coffee in the coffee corner more frequently when changes are happening and take my lunch so it is “covering” two lunch shifts – doing everything I can to make myself available for those “I just bumped into you” informal chats.