May 11, 2011 Printer Friendly Version Advertise Join ASHHRA

Dear ASHHRA Members,

I remember growing up in the coal regions of Pennsylvania and absolutely loving those first days of spring, the snow melting away, the way the sky was bluer than blue, and the buds of flowers and leaves all around. It was magical to me as a child. Change was all around. Now you get the idea of where I am going with this. I love change and embrace it! Our world is changing, our nation is changing, and our workplace is changing!  ASHHRA is changing.

Some years ago, in the late 80s, I was teaching graduate classes at Florida Tech on an adjunct basis. There were three employees of a local high tech firm in my Organizational Development Class that made an amazing statement to the rest of my class. On the first night as an icebreaker I always ask the question, "Why did you take this class?" One of the gentlemen, who acted as the mouthpiece for all three, clearly stated that his organization stressed the importance of change and how useful it would be for individuals in their department to embrace their company’s change:  From a traditional role as a draftsperson, in technology, to one of learning computer-aided design via computer and sophisticated drawing programs that the company had purchased for future design and development applications.

He went on to state that all three of them took the bait and came back to school as a team to gain the necessary education and skills to move to that next plain. Others in their department were quite resistant and felt that computer-aided design tools would never replace the drafting techniques and skills they were all accustomed to using and chose to ignore the message from their company. The message was... they were proud to announce they were going far beyond the educational scope requested of them and were loving the new high technology tools, but unfortunately those others in their department, who chose not to embrace the change in technology, became casualties and were eventually laid off from the company because they could not keep up with the demands and skills needed to stay competitive in today’s challenging high technology world.

So, why do I tell you this old story? It has become great material for me in all the OD classes I teach and rings true for every one of us in this era of change. The President and CEO of my health care organization said, "If you are not growing, you’re dying." He also once stated that his dad always subscribed to the "phone book strategy," which means you want your company to be in the phone book next year! I guess we could now call that the "web page strategy" since the phone book is not highly recognizable to our "millennials" and not as highly regarded as back in the day.

Last month at our face-to-face board meeting in Washington D.C., we launched something new for the board as we all brought our laptop computers to the meeting and had our first-ever paperless meeting. Needless to say, I have not been impeached yet, but it’s only May! All kidding aside, I believe it was a huge success.

In closing, you have seen tremendous change in the political movement in our country, driven by engaged and passionate champions for a cause. Our organizations need that change as well. Be the champion or the driver! Anticipate and suggest new ways that human resources can impact your organizations positively. I challenge each of you to make a change for the better, personally or professionally, in the months or years ahead.

In line with our conference theme, the ASHHRA Board of Directors and the entire ASHHRA staff are committed to change, and I am sure you will be very pleased with the changes we are working on for you as we embrace the "Era of Change."

Robert Walters, SPHR
Corporate Director, HR Operations
Health First, Inc.
3550 North Harbor City Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32932-0069
(321) 434-1957  

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Naylor, LLC
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Naylor, LLC
Naylor, LLC

ASHHRA Mission

To advance the human side of health care, the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) leads the way for highly effective, valued, and credible leaders.


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Chicago, IL  60606
Phone: 312.422.3720
Fax: 312.422.4577



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