Change with Purpose

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Whenever you make a change, you need to change with purpose. Making a change just because you feel like it can leave everyone in a state of confusion. The more significant the move based on a whim, the more considerable the uncertainty. Change must be needed and have a purpose.

That means change requires planning, research, and shared knowledge of what is going on and why. To do less is to invite trouble into the mix. Therefore, it is always good to work as a team and share with outside resources as necessary or advantageous.

This is not just something that can happen to workers, it happens quite often in management. A group of level II managers got together at the plant where I used to work and decided that they were going to rename all of the various conference rooms, training rooms, and other rooms in the plant. They claimed that the rooms needed new names because those spaces had no names in common with each other.  They felt that by renaming the places, there would be a cohesive structure to the type of rooms based on their use.

I happened to be working one day in a conference room they were meeting in, and they proudly told me what they were doing and how great it would be. I thank them and then proceeded to point out to them that the rooms had already been named as such. All the training classrooms were named after various train lines.  All of the larger conference rooms were named after quality control leaders. And the smaller rooms were named after quality control tools.

They looked at me sheepishly, and one said, ”Oh yeah, well, oh well.” It was clear that although they had worked at the plant for years, they really didn’t know or understand it. They went ahead with their plans and renamed the rooms, put up new signage, and laid open confusion for about the next six months while hundreds of people try to understand what new name was given to the room where they needed to go.

The sad part is that after doing this, the plant was closed and moved overseas about a year later. I appreciate the fact that they busied themselves changing room names. I often wonder what they could’ve done that would be more productive in keeping the plant open and workers employed rather than so many jobs being lost.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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