Getting the team on board with organizational change

Managing a professional sports team has many parallels to running an organization: vast resources are spent on operations, merchandising and employee contracts, and if there fails to be a clear return on investment, leadership will most likely bear the brunt of the blame. 

Such is the case with the San Diego Padres, who after several underperforming seasons, decided to take their team in a new direction by changing their management structure. 

Padres president and CEO Mike Dee released a statement, published by SI, detailing the disappointments that led up to the change. "This ownership group is committed to fielding a team that consistently competes for postseason play," Dee said. "Thus far this season, the results on the field have been mixed at best and clearly have not lived up to expectations. After a lengthy evaluation of every facet of our baseball operations, we have decided to make this change today."

When an organization is failing to meet expectations, a change in leadership may be the most cost-effective response, if done appropriately. Unfortunately for many organizations, if a change management consultancy is not retained, than staff and remaining leadership can lapse back into previous bad habits.

When taking an organization in a new direction, there is usually some form of resistance, either from clients or staff. This is a natural occurrence, as many have had negative experiences with change in the past and need to be convinced of the security of their place in the future of the organization. 

It can help to have an outside voice without any internal prejudices that can clearly explain the reasons the organization must adapt to find success and how these changes will benefit the future of the organization. This can provide the impetus needed to get any team members with lingering resistance on board with the new plan.  

Because it can be difficult to address many of these long-standing issues, change management consulting offers an above-the-fray opportunity to work outside of organizational politics in order to find new, more effective processes.