The Constant State of Change
The other day, I was driving by my alma mater, East High School, and it got me thinking about how much has changed since I was in school there. For example, when I was in high school, I got my first cell phone! While it’s pretty common for high school students now to have cell phones, back then it was a bit different. My cell phone was about the size of my forearm and had an antenna almost as long. I actually had to unscrew the antenna to get it to fit into anything, like my backpack and glove box. I shared it with my sister, and per our parents’ instructions, it was to be used for “Emergencies Only”, which pretty much meant that we never used it, fortunately. It was just too expensive, and quite frankly too bulky, for everyday use.
Fast forward many years...Not only is my cell phone my primary means of communication (what’s a home phone?), it is also my calendar, email inbox, calculator, GPS, Internet connection, camera, video camera, weatherman, clock, flashlight, social media outlet, notepad, phonebook, radio...you get the picture! On top of all that, it is about the size of my hand, no antenna necessary. Everywhere you go you see people on their phones, but doing a lot more than just talking. It seems like there is an app for everything now! In fact, I just downloaded an app for the 2013 SHRM Conference in Chicago. I can look up all the programs, get maps of the conference center, find speaker and exhibitor information, and probably lots of other stuff too. How cool is that?!
My point here is that we are in a rapidly changing environment! It really wasn’t all that long ago that I was so excited about that monster cell phone. It really wasn’t all that long ago that I used floppy disks instead of flash drives, read paper books instead of e-books, and bought CDs instead of iTunes and MP3s.
This is a simple example of how change has affected our way of life. Our organizations are changing too. It is human nature to resist change, but we cannot afford to do that in today’s environment. The only constant that we have is that things will change. As HR professionals, we have to be prepared not only to change with the environment, but to be change leaders in our organizations. I know it is tough sometimes, but Wichita SHRM can help you be prepared to fill that role by providing relevant programs and a great network of HR professionals who are a source of best practices. I encourage you all to think about the changes you have seen in your life, how you respond to change, and how you can be a change leader in your organization.
I hope to see you all at our next event!
Shelbye Smith, SPHR
2013 President of Wichita SHRM
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