In this Prosper resource, Alasdair Cant highlights the key points to consider when managing a team through organisational change — from planning and implementing change, through to dealing effectively with uncertainty to avoid resistance and conflict.
Overall, within the arts, cultural and heritage sector less people are doing more work and, compared to other sectors, there’s more emotional attachment to the work and organisation.
In a climate of uncertainty and change, people think carefully about what they commit to. As part of self-preservation they don’t quite invest the same amount of themselves and are more open-minded about their options for work.
Smaller arts organisations tend to go through changes or cycles of changes more often. Personnel changes have a big impact on a smaller organisation. One change in personnel, for example a team leader leaving, can create immediate structural changes.
However, smaller, growing organisations tend to be more nimble because their gearing up for change and have the mentality of growing and changing. They’re in the mindset of getting ready for the next stage, whether that’s new products, services or partnerships.
Small organisations therefore experience less incremental changes but instead experience bigger changes more often as a result of their size.
Larger arts organisations experience a different pattern of change. There will be more incremental changes with maybe occasional big, structural changes.
Communication is key when you're planning for change. When you're thinking about how it's going to be managed internally it's important to involve others early on even if it's to ensure that it's taking advantage of the collective wisdom.
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Managing teams through change