How to be Thankful for Change


Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. A day to spend with loved ones, eating all kinds of deliciousness, and simply taking time to reflect on what matters most. I can’t think of anything better!

This year, I’ve been particularly astute to the idea of change. Whether professional or personal, it seems that change has been swirling about in my life and in the lives of many others that I know. Some changes have been wonderful. Other changes, a little more stressful. I know that not everyone is crazy about change, particularly the stressful changes.

How do we embrace change and even – be thankful for it? Is that even possible?  I think yes.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Don’t just do something…sit there! (see what I did there?)

It’s a crazy time. We are in perpetual motion, whether physically, mentally or technologically. It seems that when change occurs, we jump to react – and sometimes, when we follow that knee-jerk reaction, we don’t take the appropriate time to consider the change and its impact on the situation, job, or our life. Take a moment. Reflect. Consider your questions. Talk to someone. Or maybe just sleep on it.

2. Don’t just sit there…do something! (see what I did *there*?)

Once you’ve reflected, once you’ve done your due diligence, once you’ve made a pro/con list – once you’ve done whatever you do to process the change…get to work! Make a plan to implement the change. By accepting the change and incorporating it into your routine, the sooner you will get used to it.

Learning nerd sidenote: This lends itself to the 70% of 70-20-10, don’t you think? It’s not enough to learn it conceptually….apply it practically.

3. Ask why. Often.

Connect with people you respect to ask questions and discuss the change. Sometimes it takes an unbiased opinion to put a situation in perspective or to provide context. Once you have perspective and context, often you’ll see the situation in a different light…which often makes change easier to digest.

4. Make change your competitive advantage.

Since many people are averse to change, be the person who gets on board. Look for the positive opportunities that come with change. Look at that half-full glass and use the situation (whether personal or professional) to your advantage!

Recently, I read this quote that stuck with me:

There is no growth without pain. Change for the better always requires letting loose of a certain degree of status quo. You realize then that the pain of moving ahead … the trials, the frustrations, the disappointments, and the failures … are always better than the situation you once found yourself in and accepted. Change won’t begin until you seize the courage and mental discipline to immerse yourself in a certain amount of pain and disillusionment concerning where you are in the present.

(source unknown)

I know this quote naturally lends itself to stressful, negative change. But to me, this speaks to positive changes as well. Change is all about moving past the status quo. And for that – for better or worse – I’m thankful. If your 2014 has been full of changes, know that I’m rooting for you as we move into this holiday season and bring this year to a close. I’m hoping something positive has come from those changes!

Finally – to you, Phase(Two)Nation, I’m thankful for you. For your continued readership. For your likes and comments. For your shares and subscribes. For your passion for and dedication to progressive, meaningful workplace learning.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Your turn: What are you most thankful for – personally or professionally? Please take a moment to share in the comments!



Learning Professional = Change Agent


Did you happen to catch the big announcement from ASTD yesterday?

ASTD, the American Society for Training & Development, is getting a new name and logo! The organization will now be known as Association for Talent Development (ATD). You can learn all about the change here.

One of the hats I wear is sitting on my local ASTD (umm, ATD…that’s going to take some getting used to!) board as Director of Social Media, so I was tuned into the live stream of the announcement so I could share the big news on our chapter’s social channels. As I soaked in the news and followed the stream of reactions through the #ASTD2014 and #ASTDnews, it made me think about change.

This new name, the new logo and branding, it really confirms something we already knew: It’s not just about the training. The organization is remaining true to its roots, recognizing that training is still an important part of developing people…but there’s so much more to it than that. We are in the business of developing people. Of communicating. Of collaborating. Of learning.

(By the way…what a privilege, amiright?)

ASTD – the American Society of Training & Development – was founded over 70 years ago. Think of how many changes our industry has seen in that time, how businesses have changed, how communication has changed – heck, how the WORLD has changed. Naturally, our largest association (and each of us) must embrace those changes and evolve as well.

This timely change is a great opportunity for each of us to pause and reflect upon our roles with the organizations we support. How are we acting as change agents for the businesses we support? How can we immerse ourselves to truly understand organizational change and use our platform to influence others?

Take a moment and think about how you can embrace change and support progress within your organization – whether progress at the organizational level, with your team or even personally. Be the change, friends!

Your turn: I’m curious about your thoughts about ASTD/ATD’s name change…please take a moment and answer the poll below, and then share your thoughts about this change and the evolution of workplace learning in the comments below!


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I’m tired.


If anyone is counting, 2014 marks 15 years of my involvement in the Learning & Development field.

And I’m tired.

Don’t get me wrong, I am more passionate about adult learning than ever, but I am tired.

At first glance, one might think this is because I’m in perpetual motion. I’m a mom with a 12-year old and a 17-year old who are both in multiple sports and activities (and eat and make messes and want me to buy them things). I work. I’m on my local ASTD board. I write this blog and guest blog quite a bit. I consult and facilitate and coach and mentor and build learning content for phase(two)learning.

Sure, it wears me out. But that’s not why I’m tired.

I’m tired of wordy PowerPoint slides. I’m tired of mammoth, bad-photocopy training binders. I’m tired of people seeing training as a punishment. I’m tired of reactive thinking and “your lack of planning constitutes an emergency on my part”. I’m tired of companies blocking social media access because it’s not seen as a valid learning tool. I’m tired of Learning being perceived as a policy-driven, rule-enforcing part of Human Resources. I’m tired of hearing “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

I’m tired. And I’m tired of seeing so many of my fellow L&D friends tired of these things, too.

In my last post, I suggested a New Year Revolution. What are you revolting against in 2014? How are you making Learning a value-rich commodity in your organization? How are you being an agent of change? Vent. Let it out in the comments below. Tell us.

What is making you tired, friends?