If you ever sit back for a minute and think about how something became “normal”, you would slowly realize that which is normal, was at some point – not normal. This concept actually happens all the time. Just think, 10 years ago it was completely normal for a candidate to wait around 2-3 weeks after an interview, waiting to see if they got the job or not, with little or no communication from the company. Today, would you ever expect a candidate to wait that long – heck! – I’ve had candidates that bailed because they didn’t get feedback a day after the interview. A new “normal”.
Maybe in some cases, but creating a new normal seems bigger to me – it seems like divine intervention, like one night you went to bed believing one thing, then you wake up the next morning to something totally different without realizing somebody changed it while you were asleep. With change, we make it known – “Hey, this is about to change and you might like it or not, but it’s changing.” With the New Normal you don’t realize it’s changed until it’s changed and you’re completely fine with it, in fact, you didn’t even realize it changed until some idiot like me points it out.
So, why do New Normals happen?
A new normal happens because there is extremely little resistance to the new normal or overwhelming support for the new normal, in either case the new normal has an excellent opportunity to succeed. Many times new normals happen when we are looking at Best Practices. “Well, we use to do it “this” way, but our competition starting doing it “that” way and they are kicking butt, so we need to start doing it “that” way.”
The most surprising New Normals are the ones where a visionary within an organization has an end-point in mind, and slowly and systematically, moves the organization in that direction through a series of steps. No fanfare, no “adoption” meetings, just slow, quiet, progressive motion into a New Normal. Think about this within your own organization – think about things you did 5 years ago that you don’t do now, but you can’t quite remember how you got to the New Normal. You were had – by someone who was smarter than all of you, by someone who had a vision and had patience.
What does the New Normal teach us as HR Pros? Employees and Managers for the most part don’t like change, they like normal, they like “this is the way we’ve always done it.” It teaches us that we can move slowly, confidently and purposely in a direction we want to go, without using that “change” word, and create something new, something better – something normal. It lets us tell that hiring manager “no sir, I’m not changing your process, we are going to stay with the “normal” process, but I just need to add this one small step for myself, your process will remain – normal.” The New Normal allows us to lead our organizations to become better without “changing”.
If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.