Posts Tagged ‘empowerment’

Participative Management and Organizational Change

A definition of Participative Management –

Just a few of my posts to questions on various discussion boards:

What management style works best during these challenging times?

I am a firm believer that a participative style of management is critical in a changing environment. If we engage and empower folks during challenging and changing times, a maximum ROI is the end result =cost savings. As leaders, if we do not communicate what is going on within the working environment and the potential impact of changes, we create fear. Fear equates stress, panic, less work output, health issues, quality issues, etc. which becomes a cost issue. I have been through both scenarios and can attest to the end results. In conclusion, I believe that during challenging times, the best management style is participative. Communicating to folks what is going on and involving them in the changes will bring better results and return on investment.

Tammi Peters, M.S. HRD
Organizational Development Professional
March 21, 2009

How do you win the hearts and minds on an organizational change project?

I believe the current economic climate is creating a panic to quickly change. I feel that many steps in the transition are skipped–A big mistake, in my opinion. The more we are open and upfront about the changes we are trying to drive through an organization, the more successful the end results. Many years ago, I was part of a pilot project. There were several of us on this team from various levels of the organization. There were no levels of hierarchy. We were engaged and empowered. Communication about the changes was upfront-no hidden agendas. We were totally involved from the project process/structure and engaging hearts and minds of others for buy-in. Our enthusiasm brought others to buy in to the changes. Others jumped on the bandwagon once they saw the end result of our pilot project. We did have buy-in from top level down, for the most part. Cynicals had to be ‘shown’ on a smaller scale the positive rewards the changes would bring.

If we do not go the extra mile to gain buy-in, do not engage and empower our folks through teams and various avenues, do not utilize participative style of management, the end result will be a nightmare! Distrust, stress, disconnect, performance issues, lack of quality work, health issues, etc. will become very apparent in the working environment while attempting change. There must be a balance, but we need to involve our folks and make it clear the changes coming and how they might be affected through the various steps of the project. People tend to be uncomfortable with change. They have been accustomed to living in their comfort zone. Change is a process. If we skip steps in the process, we might stumble!

Tammi Peters, M.S. HRD
Organizational Development Professional
March 24, 2009

How do you introduce a participative management style into a traditional management style environment (for a change initiative)?

I would like to elaborate on motivating factors. Everyone has different motivating factors. Interview & survey employees & the traditional-style manager to find out what makes them tick. Show these folks (& the manager) on a smaller scale what participative management can do. Choose a simple project, such as what to include in the company newsletter or what color to paint the lunch room. Ask for input from all….follow through & follow up on the project and then evaluate to see if motivation increased. Get buy-in and align with the traditional manager, using your results. I have led a group through changes by using a small-scale change project as mentioned above, using participative-style leadership. This group could not understand the ‘big picture’ of change & participative management, until I showed them on a smaller scale. I do agree with the others that whatever you do should be done carefully, as to not upset the apple cart too quickly before you even get started. You might think about using teams comprised of different levels of the organization to help you roll out the initiative. Bringing about awareness of the reason you need the changes is a must, as well.

Tammi Peters, M.S. HRD
Organizational Development Professional
October 16, 2009