4 ways that leaders can prepare for change

No leader and no work situation is perfect, but there are ways to ensure that you’re covered if something changes unexpectedly.

Managers should always be prepared for changes that come their way at work. No leader and no work situation is perfect, but there are ways to ensure that you’re covered if something comes up on a big day, or massive, company-wide changes are announced.

Here are four ways to be ready for anything that comes your way.

Make sure team members know how to fill in on other jobs

You’ll want to be sure that you’re covered if something comes up. In other words, your team is better off if multiple members know how to handle the basics of other job responsibilities.

Things happen.

Never only have a Plan A

Roy Osing, author of book series Be Different or Be Dead, blogger, coach, educator and adviser, writes on TalentCulture that ones of the ways to cope “when the unexpected wants to sabotage your company” is to have a “Plan B mentality.”

“A surprising new technology is introduced, a new competitor springs up, market pricing suddenly is reduced, government policy changes and customer demand changes without warning,” he writes. “The only effective coping mechanism in the face of this dynamic is to have contingency plans on the shelf ready to go on a moment’s notice. These ‘what if’ plans are just as important – no, MORE important – than the base plan because they prepare the organization for a body blow; they make responding to the unexpected an integral part of the culture.”

Be ready well before it’s critical for the survival of your team.

Be as transparent as possible

Don’t leave your team members in the dark — it’s not fair to them.

While they don’t necessarily need a play-by-play of the chain of events, you owe it to them to be as upfront as you can so they don’t feel like they don’t know what’s going on.

After all, no one likes to find out at the last minute about changes that could impact their livelihood.

Always work ahead

Instead of accepting the bare minimum, make sure team members are able to work faster if need be.

Say a huge deadline is moved up, or a major meeting with executives has been rescheduled — you’ll want to make sure that your team is able to adapt to these new demands.

Your job as a leader is to cultivate an environment where team members feel comfortable rapidly adapting to change, and are able to move forward, doing their best work.

Jane Burnett|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at jburnett@theladders.com.