They say April showers bring May flowers, which is really just a fancy way of saying that in order to get to something good, you often have to endure some challenges along the way.

I’ve been thinking a lot about growth recently. Being the founder of a small business, I sometimes get caught up in the whirlwind of work, juggling multiple balls without taking a moment to set them down and consider why I took up juggling in the first place. It’s a challenge to be intentional about growth when you’re trying to keep your head above water. The good news is, growth happens whether you’re aware of it or not.

Recently, an exciting new opportunity for my wife meant I have been playing the role of single parent for much of a 12-week run. When we talked through the logistics, I was confident that it would go smoothly. Like many, I love to think of myself as a modern father, husband, and partner who shares equally in the activities and responsibilities of supporting my family’s home and life. How hard could it be? 

Well, as I’m sure you single parents out there already guessed, it has been incredibly eye opening. Until I had the honor of being fully accountable for the day-to-day running of the household, I had absolutely no clue how little I truly contributed. In speaking openly with friends, neighbors, and colleagues about my “sudden enlightenment,” the understandable response is,“It’s about frickin’ time.” It’s a moment of growth I wasn’t aware I needed, but I’m truly thankful for it. I’ve gained so much appreciation for all the “invisible” work done without my contribution and I am committed to making some changes in how we divide the labor going forward. 

This eye-opening experience has carried over into my professional life as well. All the work the IA team has put in over the last few years may have felt incremental - a tweak here or there, a slight adjustment, a change in approach - no real game-changers. Yet over time, each of those changes has had a ripple effect. Sometimes this growth was celebrated, and sometimes it was painful; but it was always growth. IA has evolved over its 15 years, and I couldn’t be prouder of our team. 

I realize that not everyone is in a position to celebrate “growth” over the past year or so. Not every change is a welcomed one, and some growth is achieved simply out of a need for survival, not fulfillment. As situations improve and time passes, it’s my hope we can all look back and find value in the journey. I know I do.

With warm(ing) regards,

— Mark
Founder/ManagingPrincipal/Growth Advocate, IA

Voice of HR

Don't Mess with Payroll

We often take our infrastructure for granted - particularly payroll. Now is the time to improve processes, and thank your payroll dept.

Lessons Learned from a Pandemic Year

Taking a look back at all of the lessons learned after cancelled business trips and changing the way we work.

Where You Can Find Us

Do you miss seeing us? Here's a chance to connect! Join us at some of the virtual events and publications we have been invited to contribute to:

  • April 22, 2021: Mark Stelzner shared his thoughts with PeopleMatters on how HR can evolve to meet the ever-changing demands of the world of work. 

  • May 7, 2021: At TechHR SEA, Mark will deliver the keynote Dynamic HR: Thriving in the Age of Continuous Change.

  • May 24, 2021: Mary Faulkner will present at ERE Digital, a virtual conference for all things talent acquisition. 

  • September 28 - October 1, 2021: Members of the IA team plan to be at the HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas - live and in-person. We can’t wait to reconnect safely with everyone there. 

On Our Radar

Once again, the IA team has identified some interesting stories about the world of work and the people who inhabit it. Here are a few that we liked:

  • As businesses think through how, when and if to bring employees back into the office, GM’s approach of “work appropriately” has gotten some attention. It’s a flexible strategy for a very manufacturing-heavy employee population that could influence other industries. Definitely something to keep an eye on.

  • More and more organizations are employing a mix of contingent and regular employees, with each population presenting their own pros and cons - and managers are stuck in the middle trying to figure out the best way to lead this motley crew. Harvard Business Review makes some suggestions on how managers can lead a mixed team successfully.

  • And finally, from the What in the World file: the “battle of the Joshes” illustrates the power of social media to bring people together and motivate to action - as long as there are pool noodles involved. Congratulations to Big Josh and Little Josh for their hard-won victories.

About IA

As trusted advisors to senior leaders, IA supports strategic initiatives that transform the way organizations work.

Our seasoned team of professionals apply a revolutionary eye, deep domain experience, and flexible tools to accelerate the achievement of even the most ambitious goals. With a cross-functional, strategic perspective, we thrive on big, messy problems. Whether large or small, public or private, domestic or international, it’s our job to support leaders and their teams in achieving outcomes that are truly unique to their culture and objectives.

Every organization has a catalyst for change – learn more at
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