Brian Woodhead, former Customer Services Director, London Underground Ben Renshaw, Leadership Consultant Jess Fraser, Arup Kathryn de Kort, Arup The presentation began with a rather disconcerting but powerful reflection on the mindsets of the presenters: they were each asked to indicate what kind of day…
By An Coppens, ABP Conference Speaker 2013
The economic situation globally has resulted in a lot of fancy terms such as globalisation, restructuring, downsizing and it also opened the door to mergers and acquisitions. The net effect of all of these actions tends to be that people inside the organisation have to achieve the same or more with less resources from people, to budget and all other niceties they used to enjoy but are no longer available.
The media sector has seen some very dramatic change with an audience that is splitting their attention between traditional media such as print, radio and TV towards online options, gaming devices and other activities. Thanks to the recession advertising budgets were tightened and what was invested demanded a greater return and proof of such. Targets internally tended to stay the same and the pressure to reach them higher than ever.
The role of the manager
How you handle the situation as a manager can have a major impact in your team’s willingness and readiness to deal with these changes. The way people react to change is dependent on a whole combination of factors from their personal situation, working relationships, tolerance to stress and adaptability. As a manager you can influence for the positive and for the negative. In some way you are the conductor of the motivational energy in your team.
In a climate of change, leadership is essential and the ability to flex your leadership style from directive to facilitative and encouraging an absolute must. In my experience managers are often required to roll out change without time or support to process the situation. When some level of brainstorming with peers for the best roll out and communication strategy would have helped give a united approach. The main reason for this is because the media show just has to go on and what’s hot today will be gone by tomorrow.
Dealing with emotions
Under pressure everyone makes mistakes, because in the end of the day we are only human and we all have to process emotions when dealing with change. In the conference workshop we will look at the different effect leaders have on a team and we will explore how to create the best conditions for the remaining team members.
To lift the lid a little bit, here are some of my hints:
- Calm is good
- Communication is key (you never do enough of it)
- Provide support
- Be aware you will lose some talent in the process
About the author
An is speaker and trainer on leadership, productivity and focus. She is also is Chief Game Changer at Gamification Nation Ltd and author of “Leading the boss in the mirror: smart and practical ways to decrease your stress levels”.
If you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to hear more about the lessons learnt from downsizing in the media industry, An will be running a highly interactive session at the 2013 Annual ABP Conference on Friday 4th October, Wokefield Park, Reading.
To find out more about the conference and An’s session click here for more information