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Got Change?

Change in the workplace is both inevitable and unavoidable. Change can be positive or negative. For example, if your job is being outsourced the change, from your point of view, is negative. However, some changes can have a positive impact on the credit function. Some changes foster and encourage positive changes including more teamwork, better communications, and shared goals.

When big changes are on the horizon, the credit manager can help control any negative impact of these changes by using these tools and techniques:

  • Explain when, why and how changes will be implemented
  • Encourage an open dialogue about the upcoming change
  • Invite people to express their concerns with you in private if they are not comfortable doing so in public
  • Allow people to vent their frustration or express their concerns about the planned changes
  • Discuss ways to manage the change process to help ensure it happens as smoothly as possible

Changes in the workplace can be overwhelming. When people are overwhelmed, there is often productivity and morale drop along with motivation and enthusiasm. This results in more mistakes as well as missed opportunities. Look for these early warning signs that people are not happy:

  • Tardiness and higher absenteeism
  • More mistakes and less attention to detail
  • Missed deadlines and substandard work
  • Moodiness or anger
  • Withdrawal
  • Turnover

Michael Dennis, MBA, CBF, LCM

If you are initiating the change, it is best for that try to build support for the change. How? The first step is to share your vision and goals relating to the planned changes. As a general rule, the more detailed information the credit manager can provide about how an upcoming change will affect each and every member of their department, the better.

Anyway, that’s my opinion. What’s yours?

Michael Dennis’ Covering Credit Commentary. Michael’s website is  www.coveringcredit.com

The opinions presented are those of the author.  The opinions and recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of CMA, or their Officers and Directors.  Readers are encouraged to evaluate any suggestions or recommendations made, and accept and adopt only those concepts that make sense to them.

5 Responses to “Got Change? – Michael Dennis, CBF”

  1. DMarc says:

    I also find that introducing potential changes as early as possible helps people acclimate to the idea better. Helping them to focus on the things it will help improve (ie cost savings, time savings, opportunity to do things better than in the past, personal growth etc). Be willing to acknowledge the downsides as well and not discount their feelings about them. Involving them in how we are going to implement the change and getting their point of view helps us address potential problems in advance and work out solutions ahead of time, instead of at crunch time.

  2. Karen Buckinghan says:

    I agree with DMarc’s comments. My management team seems to make a habit of keeping secrets which results in anxiety and stress rather than confidence and comfort.

  3. Eddy Sumar says:

    There is one thing constant in life: Change. We need to be open about it and welcome it.

    When we contemplate change, it is very important to involve all stakeholders that will be affected by the change. It is myopic to try to spring on change. It is wiser to plan for change and incremental change if at all possible. There should be no secrets about change.

  4. Dorothy Siegel says:

    Change is bad. Let’s go back to the good old days when we didn’t use PCs and ledger updates were once a week. Let’s go back to the days when we couldn’t FAX or PDF missing documents to delinquent debtors. Yes, let’s go back to the good old days before automated customer payment application when people spent all day every day posting payments manualy to customer accounts. And by all means, lets go back to a time when it took an email from your company’s President before your IT team would re print open invoices or generate an account statement….

    And of course I am kidding

  5. Michael Dennis says:

    Absolutely. There is a difference between (a) change for the sake of trying something new and (b) change that results in a positive outcome = progress.

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