Change is Normal, Not the “New Normal”
As a virtual and in-person change management speaker, I am often asked if the pandemic of 2020 “changed anything” or will the world go back to business as usual? It is a complex change management question. My opinion is that nothing will ever be the same.
V-Shaped Recoveries & Other Myths
In my virtual talks on change management to many groups, I find it fascinating the number of people who talk about “V-Shaped Recoveries” in terms of employment and jobs. The V-Shape is a function of economy and not employment or opportunity.
The V-Shape implies a complete financial rebound but it is not an employment statistic. If your company lost 100 office jobs in the first quarter of 2020 due to the pandemic, that does not mean 100 jobs will be regained. There will be different levels of change for people going back to work.
We may find that on any given day, half the office could be “virtual” or that some of our co-workers could be asked to take coursework to channel new uses for their talents or that our organizations add new departments while eliminating others.
The V-Shaped Recovery may be desirable for revenues, but going forward, organizations may find that a smaller staff, or a new department or a specialty division or adopting a completely new technology will ultimately impact staffing. The staff and its mission may be changed entirely, where nothing will be the same. The key is this: are you preparing yourself for change or leaving it to chance?
Change is Normal, Not the New Normal
Just as everyone is talking about V-Shaped Recoveries, they are also throwing around terms such as the “New Normal.” Truth is, instead of trying to define a concept like “normal,” or whether it’s “new,” as a virtual change management speaker, I want my audiences to simply accept that “change is normal.”
We always live with change. Change is constant and there is nothing new about it. Over the course of 2021, and as we move on from the effects of the pandemic of 2020, the only thing we know, truly, is what we don’t know. In our companies, staffing, departments, technology, and equipment may all change from where we are right here right now to a completely different organization to right back to where we started.
We should all accept change day-to-day without saying that it’s the “new normal.” It has always been “new.” The real challenge is in dealing with it, by anticipating and then negotiating with that change. By calling it “new,” are we not saying that this is the way that things will be from now on into the future?
I view 2021 as a tremendous opportunity to prepare ourselves for change, to find new uses for our talents and to rise above the challenges we have been given. Those who manage change the best do not have to be superstars or corporate celebrities. The best people to handle change in any organization are those who are open to every possibility.
In 1918, the Spanish Flu swept over the world. It changed everything. Our great-grandparents, grandparents and parents were all affected. Somehow, we seemed to have all made it through. They made it through by understanding that change is constant. To stay in place is calamitous.
To book Mike Hourigan, virtual and in-person change management speaker, for a presentation to your organization, contact Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.