Endeavor to Work Together. Changing the way we Lead.

I was blown away earlier this week, when I witnessed the end of an era.  The Endeavor Space shuttle rocketed around LA, buzzing assorted landmarks, creating amazing photo opportunities; the Hollywood sign, the Griffith Park Observatory, Downtown LA skyline, and the most scenic: my own hometown, Long Beach’s Majestic Queen Mary.  As I walked around the downtown Marina, waiting for the Endeavor to fly over, the first person I spoke to was a full on NASA nerd, with the shirt, and hat to prove it.  We shared a moment of mourning for the loss of manned space flight in the US.

One of my earliest memories was when Neil Armstrong stepped out of that tiny space ship, and that was just the start. I, along with the rest of the nation witnessed many more flights into space, some tragic, some mundane, one after another.  I watched a series of heroic men and woman that I idolized, stepping into those tiny space ships.  I started to take it for granted.  Now, it’s over.  It seemed very sad, to me. 

The NASA nerd then reminded me that we still have people up in space, on the International Space Station.  Furthermore, the Americans who are up there will obviously need to be transported back to Earth.  “How will this be done?” you might ask.  On a Russian, or Japanese space ship is the answer.

I then had one of those Eureka moments, when it occurred to me that we are now in a situation where we are cooperating with our former cold war/WWII enemies to return our people safely from outer space.  In my own sideways logic, it made me think about something called “The New Normal”.  The New Normal is a term that has been bandied about quite a bit.  One thing we seem to all agree about The New Normal is that it is bad.  The economy tanked, the world changed dramatically for the worse.  As this Forbes article written just after the economy tanked points out: 

Our future will likely include a lowered living standard, high unemployment, stagnant corporate profits, heavy government intervention in the economy and disappointing equity returns".

Yikes, that sounds horrible, right?  Wait, maybe there is a silver lining in that cloud?

The end of the Nasa space program has paved the way for a new level of co-operation with the Russians, our former “Cold War” enemies.  Perhaps Businesses could take inspiration from that reality, and find new ways to facilitate change, a new style of leadership.

I was reading an article in this month’s Workforce Review that perfectly describes this approach.  The article (pdf) titled  “Change the Way You Change”  By Tracy Thurkow, Ph.D. Thurkow states, “Given the speed of change today, no one could possibly know everything they’d like to know at the outset. Leaders will have to make decisions and commit to actions in absence of having all the data they might like to have.” She then points out:

 “Thinking about change differently for employees involves anticipating that change is the “new normal.” 

That is a silver lining!  

Post written by HRmarketer staff member, Dawn Passaro. Dawn has over 15 years experience as a human resources professional. Dawn's postings on this site are her own and don't necessarily represent the opinions of HRmarketer.

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