One of my students, "Rio," recently made a great analogy about the importance of change. He said, change is like software updates. Sure, we can choose to hit “cancel” and deny the update; but, in doing so, we’ll eventually reach the point where our software is no longer compatible with new systems. Then, we’re left with the choice of shutting down and becoming obsolete or making a giant (and often more difficult and uncomfortable) leap to the latest version. Alternatively, if we accept the upgrades, we can keep making the changes that enable our software to excel in the current environment. Similarly, if we’re proactive in identifying changes that must take place in ourselves and in our workplaces and embrace them, we can remain compatible with and excel in our ever-changing environments.
In this edition, we talk about important, forward-thinking strategies for making changes that upgrade our workplace. For instance, we know stereotypes and implicit biases exist within all of us, and can have severe consequences (as this edition is being compiled, racially biased incidents like those from Starbucks and Yale University, among others, are on the news). So, what can we do now to help counter these biases in our workplace before they lead to future bad judgments and poor decision-making? We also know more is being revealed about the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace. How can we change our current organizational climate to one that sends a clear and undeniable message that sexual harassment will not be tolerated? Further, technological advances have allowed more employees to work remotely in recent years – how do we effectively integrate these workers to keep them motivated and feel a sense of belonging to the organization? These aren’t easy questions to answer or easy changes to make; however, our contributors have provided great insight and practical strategies to help us prepare for a brighter future! I hope you enjoy this edition!
Katrina (“Katie”) Piccone Merlini, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology and the Academic Chair of the Organizational Leadership MA program at Florida Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on leadership, diversity and inclusion, organizational culture and individual motivation and selfregulation. She is a member of South Brevard SHRM.