I wrote the following Blog two years ago, and when I read it again I thought, wow it is still applicable today!
Here we are about to start a brand new year, full of hope for the future with change being the marching orders of the day! So why then are so many people and companies frozen in time?
For a country that is so willing to change that they voted in mass last November for it, why are we so resistant to moving again? Could it be that we as a nation need to go through a refresher course in change management? Are we really stuck in the first phase of denial to the point we are unable to move?
For the past year I’ve been working with a lot of colleagues in the learning field that have been putting everything on hold, or on the back burner, or cancelling plans altogether. And over the past couple of months I’ve been watching these people shocked that their companies are laying them off and closing up their learning functions. Hello? Were you a return on the company’s investment, or an expense that could be eliminated?
Now as long as I am wagging my finger I might as well talk to the companies that have also been frozen in place, waiting on something to change before they will consider building skills that are lacking in their employees. How are companies supposed to solve these new challenges if not through the same people they are ignoring?
There was an article in a Seattle newspaper recently that said if there was any kind of training that needed to continue during these difficult times it should be management and leadership development. Because the absence of these programs was telling existing employees that we have plenty of managers and leaders to get us though and there was no need to develop bench-strength. Imagine being an employee in this kind of environment? Gee, if we don’t need to train any new managers, I wonder how long before we close the doors?
I recently had a freezer stop working, and it was full of food. Thanks to next day delivery, I had a replacement freezer in place ready to move my food from the old freezer to the new one with very little food thrown out. Yet also thanks to the miracle of the freezing process, the items in the back were still rock solid and in the same state as when first frozen. If those same items had been up in the front they would have been defrosted. I thought how similar to some of the people and companies I had been talking with lately.
The ones in the front of the economic issues were defrosted and moving forward. The ones that were waiting, or sitting in the background were frozen solid. And unless the power goes out through a bankruptcy, layoff, or complete closure, they will remain frozen in time.
I realize that here we are in the middle of winter and much of the landscape in this country is frozen. But just like in nature, there will be no new growth until the spring thaw. So folks, rather than wait until your freezer is shut off, how about defrosting yourself now, and get out there are make things happen! I am ready for change in 2009, are you?
I am ready for change in 2011, are you?