Embracing Change

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama waves after speaking during the first session at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

We live in truly exciting times. LinkedIn was taken over by Microsoft, Verizon acquired Yahoo, Michelle Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton (we knew this would happen) and closer home, Flipkart/Myntra acquired Jabong to become the largest online fashion retailer in the country. You have to be hiding under a rock if you aren’t overwhelmed by the change happening in the world around you. All this comes at a great time; especially with HR making claims of turning talk into walk. While we may have made leaps into the future, these events bring with them some valuable learnings.

Embracing Change – The first one comes as a no-brainer. If you aren’t open to change you will only be left flabbergasted. The world isn’t going to slow down and the pace is only going to pick up. The only way to stay in the game is by embracing change if not propagating it. HR needs to be prepared to not only usher in change but also help organizations as a whole keep up with change. David Ulrich did not put ‘Change Agent’ into the HR Model with no good reason!

Picking the right partners –LinkedIn and Yahoo have taken the business world by storm. Ceaseless debated have surrounded the topic on why Microsoft chose LinkedIn and how Yahoo missed earlier acquisition deals. All of this goes to show just how important picking the right partner is. Take for example Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention where she openly endorsed Hillary Clinton as America’s next President. This is the 3rd time she took stage at the Convention and there’s no doubt around the impact her speech has made. It is the same with HR. We have millions of options out in the market. This isn’t a one size fit all. Pick your partners carefully – be it technology, vendors or practices. More importantly, pick them at the right time, which brings me to my next point.

Being aware of the cost of taking risks – Much has been said about the misses Yahoo has made – be it at the opportunity of acquiring Google or the chance of being acquired by Microsoft. While the complete picture may not be portrayed by these memes, it nevertheless teaches us a very valuable lesson. While taking risks is the only road to success, taking uninformed risks might just land you in the spot you always wanted to avoid. I cannot stress on how important it is to understand the opportunity cost and at the same time know the price you pay for taking a gamble. Weighing outcomes, helps reduce regret. More importantly, it also helps critically analyze the readiness of the organization for the risk and accordingly prepare for any prospective backlash.

In times like these when the economy and world itself is changing at a pace that promises to only go faster, it becomes critical to understand the importance of being observant and learning from the world around you. The greatest part of living in this era is that you have the power to give rise to the next big revolution and if that doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.



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