Two months ago you were
successful in a bid for a contract to implement change to an up and coming
retail business. Your task as a new manager is to get your clients onsite team
to work together to implement the changeover from a manual procedure to a new
computer based system and processes (for example Fashion Master).
After struggling through traffic,
because of the road closures you surprisingly make it to the first team meeting
just on time. There’s lots of noise coming from behind the door. You swing it open with a big smile on your
face which drops as you see whose inside. You rub your eyes surely this must be
a dream? No it’s not a dream and this ‘really’ is happening. There they are in full
glory Ed Miliband, David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Nicola Sturgeon, Natalie Bennett and
Leanne Wood and dare I say it Nigel Farage. Welcome to your new job and welcome
to your new project team.
I know this is an extreme
situation but can you imagine the challenge ahead and the sense of achievement
you would feel once you have successfully employed your tasks on time and in
budget with this team.
So what happens next? I can only
share some ideas because we all manage situations in very different ways. It’s
true we all have a common structure but the implementation of it relies on the
behaviours you are managing and this scenario is nothing less than that.
Immediately what goes through my mind is assumption even though I
have an idea of how this team operates I must rely on my trust instinct. It’s
all level ground from here and everyone has something to bring to the duties ahead
Some useful things you can do
before the first meeting is to ensure you have everything you need to put you
in a prime position. Forewarned is forearmed, advanced warning is always an
advantage. A few months ago I was lucky enough meet and talk to an old ex-Major
General from the Royal Artillery a wonderful old etonian full of anecdotes and
witticisms. He said the two most important things on the battle field are
strategy and tactics.