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TLS Continuum: Change is Hard

Change is hard, and we understand that. It is never easy but at times there is no recourse. Those of you who have followed this blog since 2006 when we began know that there are two topics I never discuss – Politics and Religion. But when we look at the current political turmoil that has come about due to the upcoming presidential race, I have to stop and consider the impact on the business world and change in particular.

Consider these facts:

  • 1 in 5 of the supporters of the leading GOP candidate feel that the Emancipation Proclamation was an

unconstitutional executive action (You Gov and Public Policy Polling)

  • Black lives matter responds to racial oriented killings despite unleashed feelings among the country
  • The demographic of our country is changing and whites will no longer rule the majority
  • Former head of the KKK comes out in support of a candidate because he is like us

So what does this all mean to our workplaces and change in particular. When we enter into a period of turbulence we uncover a wide variety of biases, which help direct the path we are embarking on. When we introduce change much as President Obama did when he entered the White House, a wide variety of feelings and biases are uncovered. In the government arena, GOP side of the Senate and House decided from the early days after the election they would do everything in their power to stop anything the new president wanted to achieve. Think of your own organizations and look for those incidents where a change was introduced and some long-term manager said we are not going to do that, even if it meant the survival of the organization. Consider how many times you have brought an idea to the forefront and management has stopped it before it got started under the statement that is not how we do that here. Consider how many times a human capital asset has been suggested for employment or promotion and the individual was turned down because he is of the wrong religion, the wrong skin color or many outward signs of change.

Change is hard. Change takes courage. Change takes the willingness to change the status quo for the betterment of the organization as a whole. It takes both a total commitment to the change as well as an open mind to the potential of the change. I am fully aware that change is a double-edged sword. If you make the change for the sake of making a change it can hurt the organization in the long run. However if changing work requirements and environments brings on change, than if done right change can be the source of dramatic increases in those metrics that management is seeking.

Change is hard. It requires us to realign our resources in order to meet the demands and challenges that change brings on. It means realigning not only physical resources but our mental resources as well. Everyone in the organization needs to understand that what we are doing is for the improvement of the organization.

Change is hard. It requires us to unlearn to some degree what we learned in the past. Our lessons are gained within the framework of when and why the lesson was created. But times change and what constituted the reason for the previous lesson may not be true today. Our attitudes towards colleagues of different races, creeds and religions have somewhat changed. So the lesson learned in the past of the place for certain segments of our human capital assets are no longer valid in the 21st century. Our workplaces have changed to overtly be a welcoming place for all people. But underneath all that there is a rampant basis of “anti” feelings toward the way the organization operates. A rampant bias as to what the proper place is for certain segments of the workforce.

Change is hard. When the change comes about we have to understand that we can’t go back to that other place. Change eradicates that other place. We have a new place and environment to understand and survive jointly in. We are all part of the new environment and to continue forward we all must play a role in its implementation. Our rose colored glasses tend to clog the way but we have to get around that. Change requires a new status quo. Change requires a new corporate culture.

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