Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Radical changes in the work world are painful. Don’t laugh too hard at people who don’t understand what is happening.

Transitions from changes in the new world of work are going to hurt.  A lot.

Some people are in serious denial.  That does not prevent the changes or reduce the pain.

The US Postal Service has dropped hints of drastic reductions in service with layoffs that go with it.  They announced the idea of closing 250 processing facilities and cutting back the amount of mail that arrives in one-day. See articles at The Hill and USA Today.

The way this would work is mail will be sorted starting early in the day until extremely early the next morning instead of sorting all mail between about midnight and 5 AM.  That would allow closing about half of the processing centers, moving a lot of work from graveyard to day shift, and letting go lots of staff.

Result would be that much of the first-class mail will arrive in two days instead of one.

Underlying cause for troubles at USPS?  Dramatic drop in first-class mail because of e-mail and other technology.

As to the pain and denial involved, look at this comment in the article from The Hill:

“The Postal Service should be urging Congress to address the cause of its problems – not slashing service and demolishing its network,” union president Cliff Guffey said.

Presumably Mr. Guffey would like the Congress to outlaw e-mail and require all of us to go back to using first-class mail for our written communications.  I’m guessing he would also want to ban fax machines.

Feel free to chuckle.

When you’re done laughing, ask yourself if you have the same attitude.

Do you think it is unfair that technology is overwhelming your job, your company, or your industry?  Do you think that the change we see everywhere else in the economy will not affect your job?  Then you are in full-blown denial.  Your denial will not stop change.

Transitions for the USPS are going to be very painful.  Their estimate is 35,000 workers will be let go.  Ouch.  That’s gonna’ hurt.  Gonna’ be bad.

Many other industries and companies are going to go through the same pain.

My point in this post and all of my other comments on this issue is the same:

We have two choices.

We can understand the change that is happening around us, accept that for reality, work within that framework, adapt to it, and then thrive.

Or we can get run over.

Mr. Guffey is in the second category.  Don’t laugh too hard.  He has lots and lots and lots of company.

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