As I was watching the chair lifts make their circuitous journey up and down the mountainside, I started thinking about time. It was Day 2 of our holiday ski trip, and I was relegated to the hotel room due to a wicked fall that dislocated my shoulder and had me in queue for yet another MRI and possible surgery. With 2022 having been filled with exams, surgery, and rehab from a torn rotator cuff, I was back on a self-inflicted hamster wheel of pain and frustration.
With fresh snow falling and no distractions, time slowed, and I became a bit more conscious of how I’ve been spending it. Some professionals think in seconds, minutes, and hours, yet most of us tend to wake up and wonder where the days, weeks, and months have passed. At work, we often mindlessly move from meeting to meeting and pray for the time to “actually get some work done”, let alone practice any form of self-care. And despite the attempted ‘calendar purge’ from some experimental organizations, most of us tend to give this most precious commodity away liberally on a daily basis.
We know this; yet, we keep doing it.  As Thoreau said, “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”
As January (shockingly) comes to a close, ask yourself what you are busy about. Question with whom and for what purpose do you give away your time. Protect your calendar whenever possible through self-scheduling. And perhaps most importantly, don’t tell anyone what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. The moment someone realizes you have a system for slowing down to rise up, they will impose upon it at will. It will be our little secret, and we’ll all be better off for it.
With warm regards, 
— Mark Stelzner
Founder/Managing Principal/Crash Test Skier, IA 

Voice of HR

A path less traveled

Newest IA-er Jonathan Thompson writes about his journey from Army veteran to consulting intern by virtue of a unique transition program.

Where You Can Find Us

We are honored and humbled to be invited to participate in some amazing upcoming events, with more on the horizon:

  • March 6-9, 2023: IA will once again support Hacking HR’s upcoming global conference, FORWARD 2023, participating in multiple panels during this global event. Register today!
  • May 3-5, 2023: The upcoming Health and Benefits Leadership Conference will feature sessions to help organizations transform the way they think about using total rewards to engage, retain, and support their employees. Mark Stelzner will be keynoting Day Two, along with Cisco's global benefits leadership, to share the organization's journey to build an integrated benefits experience.

On Our Radar

As tempting as it was to find every single story that predicted the rise (or fall) of the great (or quiet) quitting (or hiring) trend, the team was drawn to a few different topics this month:

  • Anyone caught in the travel meltdown over the holidays knows that systems are a delicate thing, and a hiccup in one area has magnifying repercussions across the board. This article from Forbes focuses primarily on Southwest Airlines, with this particularly good observation: “Leader underestimate the real business cost of technical debt.”  
  • Along the same vein of looking at fragility in systems, Harvard Business Review expands the term beyond technology to look at the systemic challenges organizations face in creating a healthy, functioning workplace.
  • We’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the growing fascination with ChatGPT, as its capabilities captured the imagination of anyone who ever wanted to get out of writing more than a bullet point. What caught our attention is this story from NPR about a college student who wants to protect against the erosion of the written word.

About IA

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