A primary role I play when consulting is that of a management coach. The transition that organizations have to make when they evolve from a “Product and Solution” based IT organization to a “Service” based organization requires a different set of management disciplines. Many organization send their staff to ITIL (or other ITSM) training expecting that the knowledge alone will help transform the organization. “Lets develop an ITIL based Change Management process and train everyone to follow it… that will fix things!”  They try to delegate the transformation down to the operational layers of the organization. The VERY predictable result of this – is the common critical fail factor of “management resistance”.

Management resistance comes in both a passive and a active form. Underlying both of them is usually the FUD factor. Managers and leaders are often faced with Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt as their current capabilities are brought into question. The same capabilities that have served them well in the “Product and Solution” based organization they are leaving behind.

Management attitude and behaviour must evolve towards the new desired service culture before there can be any realistic expectation that staff attitudes and behaviours will evolve. Management must lead by example, evolve the risk & reward systems that underpin the culture, and actively embrace the change. This requires managers and leaders to step out of their comfort zones and develop new skills appropriate for the type of organization they are trying to be.

A systematic approach to coaching and mentoring these managers and leaders assists them through this transition. With guidance and support, the new “service” focused managers are making valuable decisions and leading by good example far sooner than they would be without the support.