The Harsh Winds of Corporate Change

by: Doug Michaelides

Depending on your preferred model for business, as employees we’re either the gears in a machine or the cells in an organism. We each have a part to play in the coordinated success of the whole.  Grudgingly perhaps, we also accept that the needs of the whole must take precedence over the needs of the parts.

Workers that expect the organization to accommodate their personal interests and ambitions at all times are expecting too much.  Putting personal desires ahead of the needs of the organization is unfair to shareholders, stakeholders and fellow employees who are committed to achieving corporate objectives.  The harsh truth is that, in business, the needs of the company and shareholders come first.

Of course there’s no justification for a company to abuse its employees.  Nobody should have to suffer unsafe or unhealthy working conditions.  And certainly employees should be encouraged to complain about the things that interfere with their ability to meet the organization’s goals.  Smart employers do their best to find alignment between personal preferences and corporate needs so that everybody’s happy and productive.

But it isn’t always possible.  Over time, business strategies change and personal ambitions evolve.  When these clash there can be only one winner. Which is why if personal needs and corporate objectives become too misaligned an employee, no matter how long serving, may have to leave the organization.  It may be a tough decision but in the end, everyone will be happier.

In the best case however, employees see changes in corporate strategy as an exciting opportunity to tackle new challenges, learn new skills and gain new responsibilities. When the harsh winds of corporate change blow, we all have a choice.  We can batten down the hatches to try to ride out the storm, turn tail and head for the nearest safe port, or hoist-sail and enjoy the exhilarating ride!  What’ll it be matey?

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