How the technical or lab manager anticipates and responds to the constant and turbulent change that envelops an organization is frequently the difference between commercial and personal success and failure.

Most technical and business people dislike uncertainty. Uncertainty breeds distrust, fear, loss of confidence, anger, rumors, and all the attributes that complicate and usually retard progress and success in the lab or the office. Therefore, the first priority for the manager should be to reduce uncertainty in the workplace and replace the undesirable attributes mentioned above with facts, sensitivity to employee concerns, and clarity of the group goals and objectives. Here are four managerial guidelines to follow at all times, especially in times of uncertainty and turbulence:

  1. Establish clear goals for all employees with clearly defined areas of responsibility and accountability.
  2. Communicate, motivate and inspire.
  3. Get out of the way.
  4. Invest in your employees.

How does your research facility deal with uncertainty and turbulence?

I'd like to hear from you.