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专栏 - 向Anne提问

如何在管理层变动中存活下来

Anne Fisher 2015年04月21日

Anne Fisher为《财富》杂志《向Anne提问》的专栏作者,这个职场专栏始于1996年,帮助读者适应经济的兴衰起落、行业转换,以及工作中面临的各种困惑。
去年全球的并购交易同比增长47%。如果你的公司也被兼并,你有可能面临被裁掉的风险。面对管理层的变更,你不应该选择回避,而应该主动出击,尝试着向新老板提出解决方案而非问题,一切顺利的话,你不仅不会被炒鱿鱼,而且有可能晋升到更重要的岗位。

    亲爱的安妮:去年晚些时候,我工作的公司宣布合并,事实证明这更像是一次收购。如今,对方公司的高管团队掌管了一切,他们在研究如何整合两家公司,包括解雇部分与对方公司管理职务重叠的人员。我的一些同事已经开始谨慎地求职,因为他们认为留在这家公司的时间已经屈指可数。但我到这家公司仅有两年时间,我喜欢我的工作,也非常愿意留在这里。我的问题是,这样的愿望现实吗?我该如何保住自己的工作,同时又不会让新老板认为我爱耍政治手腕?您有什么建议吗?——H.M.B.

    亲爱的H.M.B.:去年,全球公布的并购交易增加了47%(总价值:3.5万亿美元),创下2007年以来的新高,而且鉴于许多交易要在今年才能实现,所以肯定有许多其他公司的员工正与你面临同样的困境。

    然而,即使在未参与并购的公司,人们迟早也要学会如何打动新的管理团队。特丽莎•泰勒表示:“出于某些原因,平均来看,一个人在职业生涯中将遇到10位或更多新老板。你可以置身事外,做一位旁观者,或者你可以对此施加影响。”泰勒曾在一家电信公司担任高管,目前担任十余家公司的董事。

    她补充道:“不必担心‘爱耍政治手腕’这个问题。了解负责人,给他们留下好的印象,与政治无关。你的目的是确定如何融入到新公司当中。如果邀请新上司共用午餐或小酌一杯的想法让你困扰,你完全可以将其视为一种人际交往,两者其实是一回事。”

    泰勒的观点都来自亲身经历。2000年,美国联邦西部电信公司收购奎斯特通讯时,泰勒是奎斯特众多产品经理之一。联邦西部电信有自己的产品经理,所以裁员似乎已成必然。泰勒努力让新团队充分认识到她的价值,最终被晋升到新设的执行副总裁职位,负责管理两家公司的所有产品经理。

    她是如何做到这一点的?泰勒提出了三条行之有效的建议:

    提出解决方案而非问题。泰勒说道:“对于新老板来说,没有什么比人们列队到自己面前详细诉说问题更糟糕的事了。有些人甚至采用一种颇具艺术感的方式来描述问题。”不要成为这样的人。提出你认为需要纠正的问题可能对你有帮助,但你应该准备至少三个可行的解决方案。

    预测未来。泰勒说道:“努力明确新老板的需求。如果你处在她的位置,你想知道什么?公司目标与文化无疑会发生变化,所以你需要观察前后的差异,接受这种变化。”她补充道,如果可能的话,“展示你的主动性,完成一个没有人要求的项目”,来证明你希望参与到这种改变当中。“通常在收购交易中,人们的第一反应是躲避,但这是错误的。你应该投入到改变当中,积极进取。选择你一直以来都很擅长的事情,绽放自己的光彩。”

    保持灵活性。合并是更新简历的好时机,即便你希望继续留下来。泰勒指出:“公司合并之后一种常见的做法,是要求人们重新面试他们已经从事的工作,或者公司重组之后新设立的岗位。明智的做法是证明自己做好了接受任何职位安排的准备,因为公司和你在公司的职务将不断发展变化,即使某项特定的职位变动在当时看来并非好的选择。”

    这一点同样来自泰勒自己的职业经历。担任产品管理总监三年之后,她被任命为人力资源总监。她说道:“我觉得这非常荒谬。我经常在暗地里嗤笑人力资源部。而现在,一直致力于销售和市场营销的我,却要去管理劳工合同、员工福利等。”但她还是接受了任命,两年后,她被任命为首席运营官,这段经历则“成为一个重量级的砝码”。

    她建议说:“改变从来都不容易。但即便你最终被调任到看起来不太理想的其他岗位,也要努力做到最好。你永远不知道它会给你带来什么。”祝你好运。

    反馈:你是否曾在并购中幸存下来,留住了自己的工作甚至得到了更好的职务?你是如何做到的?欢迎评论。(财富中文网)

    译者:刘进龙/汪皓

    审校:任文科

    Dear Annie:Late last year, the company where I work announced a merger that is actually turning out to be more of an acquisition. The executive team from the other, somewhat bigger company is in charge now, and they’re looking at how to combine the two entities, including laying off some of us whose jobs overlap with their own managers’ positions. Some of my colleagues have started (discreetly) job hunting, on the assumption that their days here are numbered. But I just got here a couple of years ago, I like what I’m doing, and I’d really rather stay. My question is, how realistic is that? Any suggestions for improving the odds of holding on to my job, without coming across to the new bosses as too political? — Holding My Breath

    Dear H.M.B.:Considering that mergers and acquisitions announced worldwide shot up 47% last year (total value: $3.5 trillion), their highest level since 2007, and since many of those deals are just now coming to fruition, you can be sure that plenty of other employees are in the same boat.

    But even people whose employers haven’t merged will, sooner or later, have to learn the art of impressing a new management team. “For one reason or another, the average person will have 10 or more new bosses over the course of his or her career,” notes Teresa Taylor, a former telecommunications executive who now sits on a dozen boards of directors. “You can sit back and watch the change happen, or you can influence it.

    “Don’t worry about being ‘too political,’” she adds. “Getting to know the new people in charge, and making a good impression on them, isn’t about politics. It’s about figuring out how you fit in now. If the idea of asking your new boss out for lunch or drinks bugs you, think of it as networking, which is really the same thing.”

    Taylor speaks from experience. She was one of a large group of product managers at Qwest when US West bought the company in 2000. US West had its own product managers, so layoffs seemed inevitable. Taylor got busy making herself so valued by the new team that she got promoted to a newly created executive vice president position, overseeing all the product managers from both companies.

    How did she pull that off? Taylor says these three steps worked for her:

    Bring solutions, not problems.“There’s nothing worse for a new boss than to have a parade of people in her office who can describe in great detail what is wrong,” Taylor says. “Some people have truly made an art form out of defining the problem.” Don’t be one of them. It’s helpful to bring up things you believe need fixing, but only if you can identify at least three possible solutions.

    Read the tea leaves.“Try to identify the needs of the new boss. If you were in her shoes, what would you want to know?” says Taylor. “There’s no question that the goals and the culture are going to change, so embrace that by observing the differences.” If possible, demonstrate that you want to be part of the change by “showing initiative and completing a project no one asked you to do,” she adds. “Often, in an acquisition, people’s first impulse is to try to hide, but that’s a mistake. Jump in. Be engaged. Pick something that you’ve always been good at, and let it shine.”

    Be flexible.A merger is a good time to dust off your resume, even if you’re counting on staying. “A common practice is to have people re-interview for the jobs they’ve already got, or for other jobs that have opened up in other parts of the reorganized company,” Taylor points out. “It’s smart to be thought of as ready for any assignment, because the company and your role in it will continue to evolve, even if a particular move doesn’t seem like a great option at the time.”

    That idea, too, comes from Taylor’s own career. After three years as product management chief, she got appointed head of human resources. “It seemed ridiculous to me. I was one of those people who always snickered about HR,” she says. “Here I was, a sales and marketing person, suddenly in charge of union contracts, employee benefits, and so on.” Still, she took the assignment, which “turned out to be a big part of what qualified me” for a promotion to chief operating officer two years later.

    “Change is never easy. But even if you end up somewhere else in the company from where you are now and it doesn’t seem ideal, make the best of it,” she suggests. “You never know where it will lead.” Good luck.

    Talkback:If you’ve ever survived a merger or acquisition with your job intact, or you ended up with a better one, how did you do it? Leave a comment below.

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