” Change before you have to” – Jack Welch
Recently, I have been asked to take a new bigger challenge in the organization I currently work for. It was an interesting unplanned moment. The immediate result was that I had to “handle” the business our team managed to the new team who was taking over. It was an exercise I had rarely conducted. At the same time, my team had multiple board level engagements. Amongst those we counted a sovereign wealth fund, central bank and the largest MENA lender. We had not only to make sure that the new team keeps the business but also manages to close as much business as possible by the quarter so our wider region keeps the top EMEA spot.
People by default are resistant to change. So are most existing and prospective customers. This is why in a situation where change is to occur the best thing to do is to advocate further develoments and even excite the customers about the upcoming shift. In my situation to initiate the process I sent corporate communication praising the new team taking ownership of my last business coverage. Following that, prepared a number of documents ( strategic maps, updated the current business strategy, business forecasting tool and a brief for each key account) the new team in charge could start using from day one. The final step of the transition process was a business trip that we booked together. The aim of the trip was to meet key clients and new prospects together so that we ensure our corporate image is rock solid. This exercise was also an opportunity for to see how my peers would approach with a new look the business our team ran for 18 months and learn from them while sharing the most valuable information.
Change is both necessary and good. Smooth transition can be used as an opportunity to strengthen existing relationships as well as build new ones. It also helps bring fresh prospectives on how current challenges can be solved differently. Having a process in place to ensure that is a great start.