From August, 2014

Change Management is a Paradigm Shift

Those of you that follow my blog know I’m all about Human Resources (HR) and Training and Development (T&D). However, this week I’m going to depart from the norm. I need to put some things in perspective.

My father passed away two months ago. He was the oldest of seven children. Those seven children produced more than 20 grandchildren. When someone passes away, the family goes through many changes. The challenge for me and my family is grieving (managing) the loss of my father. Our lives are changed forever. There’s a new paradigm we have to get used to.

Losing a loved one is one of the most traumatic experiences anyone can go through. And, as traumatic of an experience as this may be, my family and I have to adjust to a new way of living. Most people don’t like paradigm shifts especially when they’re negative.

In today’s rapidly changing workplace more people are experiencing paradigm shifts than not. Paradigm shifts can be good or bad depending on which side of the shift you’re on. Adjusting to something new and/or different isn’t easy. When you initially hear that a paradigm shift is on the horizon, your first response is to decide if you like it or not. Then you have to make the mental adjustments necessary to adapt to the shift(s) that are taking place. Adjusting to a paradigm shift is more mental than anything. If you’re not mentally on board with the shift, it’ll be difficult to live with the new paradigm.

The term change management is used so often that it’s being overused. I know the workplace is rapidly changing but gee wiz slow down with the overuse. People not in the HR and T&D industry, read and hear the term so often and in different contexts that the true meaning gets lost. Change management, in its simplest form means managing changes in the workplace.

Today’s workplace is changing so rapidly the term change management is not only a noun but it’s also a verb. It’s become a verb because it’s a skill-set that many employers are looking for. It’s a skill-set because of the technical expertise that is required to manage the change(s). The changes that are occurring are due to the economy, advancements in technology, and customer demands. The simple definition may be managing change but the execution requires a lot of skill.

Whether it’s in your personal life or the workplace, managing change is something we all have to do. We have to realize that a paradigm shift is upon us and try our best to make the necessary adjustments.