Four Ways to Navigate Change

The news of industry change keeps coming — mergers and acquisitions, third-party investments, spinoff s and new initiatives. At the same time, MSOs are evolving from cable providers into broadband powerhouses. Advanced networks, DOCSIS 3.1 technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to transform how communities, businesses and individuals work, play and engage with the world around them.

Managers in merging companies with different networks, varied levels of sophistication and diverse company protocols face swirling winds of change with the power to sweep up every employee in your organization. As the tornado of merger and acquisition talk in the cable and broadband industry continues to churn, it’s a crucial time to embrace effective change management.

Four critical actions will help you empower effective leadership throughout all levels of your organization, find the calm in the storm and move forward with valuable momentum.

1. Take charge. Realize that discomfort and apprehension are normal. Digging in your heels only hurts you — making you appear a weak and unproductive leader. Understand the change process, choose to accept it and take control of it. View it as an opportunity to be creative about how things will move ahead.

2. Lead through change. Encourage others to see they are in control of their own response to change. Encourage your team to make a conscious choice to accept and embrace the change. Engage key stakeholders to be effective leaders — drawing upon different leadership skills as detailed in the Jones/NCTI mentoring and leadership curriculum.

3. Identify the positive. Change often brings constructive new relationships, processes and responsibilities. They can significantly affect your attitude and perception of the change. Proactively brainstorm with others on how to work through them instead of wasting time complaining.

4. Communicate. Effective communication plays a vital role in successful change. Include people in the aspects of the change that they can be creative with. Listen and respond the best you can. Engage in mentoring and team building to sustain the positive momentum you create as a leader. The broadband industry sends frontline employees into customers’ homes every day, making technicians the face of your company. It’s particularly important to focus on leadership for frontline managers. They need to support your company’s mission, vision and values, emphasize the consistencies that remain through change, and communicate them to your frontline teams. Inspire your training coordinators, tech and care leads to embrace the above four actions to align your front-line teams, quell the storm and emerge stronger than ever.

Dr. Liz Seltzer is lead author and consultant for Jones/NCTI’s Mentoring and Leadership curriculum. She is also founder/CEO of the Mentor Leadership Team, a consulting company that promotes mentoring initiatives and strong corporate cultures.