Managing Transitions

March 26, 2010

In my previous post, I introduced iSalesman, an online community for sales professionals. After digging a bit deeper (yes, I was quick to judge the site by its somewhat annoying registration process), I have become increasingly pleased with its content. More specifically I am intrigued by the blogs that members of the community have posted. Many of the posts are very relevant to the many of OpenView’s expansion stage companies. It’s great to hear opinions and stories of fellow sales people who are dealing with similar challenges in this market, despite their industry/size of company.

One blog post that really caught my eye on the site is entitled, “Tips for Managing Transitions” by Mary Donato. One of the four main suggestions that Mary offers to 1st line leaders who are helping their organization through any major transition (restructuring, downsizing, etc) is to “help people get focused quickly on the new tasks at hand. Encourage them to become a part of the process to help with the transition” 

Mary explains that managers must ensure that their team understands the following:

  • the purpose behind the change and why it was necessary
  • what the expected outcome will look like
  • how the outcome will be achieved
  • the role each individual has in making the change occur
  • who is available to help them when needed

I agree with Mary that effective transition management is a very important skill, and finding the best managers to do so is often a daunting task for management teams. OpenView does not only offer venture capital funding, one key area that OpenView Labs offers investments is Recruitment Support… When we help with the hiring of a management level role, we really take into consideration the personality type of individual, and if they have the capability to have effectively communicate with their team during difficult times. When a company is at an expansion stage, there are often many transitions that occur within business before it gets to the next stage of growth and becomes highly profitable. Encouragement, communication, and empowerment can help teams get through the difficult times and become that much stronger in the end.