That Cut of Difference

Salon Shots

Yes, just a little bit more on the left above the ear don’t you think? Yes, there are a few stragglers there. I will just get the cut-throat razor out and give those obstreperous hairs a strategic and decisive shave. What do you think? Oh yes, much better. It looks much more skinified and head nude now, not a hair in sight, that should do it!

I looked at the floor below the barber’s chair with trepidation. There I saw a messy foray of my recently attached blond locks of hair randomly splayed now looking up at me with a sense of desertion as they awaited the appearance of a sweeping broom focussed on tidiness.

Yes, the new hairless look suited me, and if I didn’t like it, in a few days some potentially yet to be welcomed hair stubble would reposition itself on my head allowing me to rethink my next attempt at head creativity (Author’s comment….except in my case where that hair stubble decided to abandon my head a couple of decades ago, with a decision never to return!).

As I left the barber’s chair, I saw the next employee eagerly awaiting their turn to start their own individual journey of hair discovery. Yes, in case you are wondering, this barber is actually located in the corporate office. A haircut can be booked via your online E-mail calendar room booking system and there is always a backlog of staff wanting these prestigious hair services.

Why located in the corporate office? Well, why not? In this instance, this organization’s CEO views hairstyles as an extension of the business innovation process. The objective is to encourage their employees to think that little bit differently and to explore experiences and sensations that break the traditional and conservative mindset. After all, many people tend to adopt the same haircut style, one that is deemed professional and generally acceptable to the corporate guidelines of appearance. However, not this organization which boasts a workforce with a varied hair fashion that comes in a mixture of colours, lengths and more diverse appearances.

So next time you are sitting in your barber’s (or hairdresser’s) chair and they ask whether to give you “the usual”, may this blog post give you the creative strength to try something rather different so you too can experience that feeling of hair creativity and freedom of thought! Go on, be brave, give it a go! (it will grow back you know…well, maybe?)

Hair Cut Frizz

Kathy (Frizzy Hair)

My friend spent many hours and dollars sitting in the hairdresser’s chair in the pursuit of that “just right look”. Her hair was washed, cut, coloured, styled and other things I have no idea about (my hairstyle has not required a visit to the barber for quite a few years) and the final result was “hair perfection”. She looked gorgeous, but more importantly, she felt fantastic and her mood exuded confidence and that killer professional personality of “look out world, don’t mess with me!”

But, on leaving the hairdresser, the heavens opened up and a massive downpour of heavy rain engulfed her magnificent locks of hair. The result, an unexpected frizzy hairdo, and one that no longer looked the same as it did a mere one minute ago.

Now my friend could have reacted two ways:

1. Complete emotional devastation with a flurry on large tears, cursing and screams of disappointment and anger.
2. A “WTF” attitude where she enjoyed the moment whilst it lasted, but now was wondering what benefits would be achieved from her completely different bohemian and rather artistic appearance?

In the corporate world, this experience typifies the influence of a “Change Management” program on the employee. In many instances, the “Change” is totally unexpected, has caught them off-guard and they had no desire to participate. The employee, like my friend, could respond in two ways; complete emotional devastation, or seize the change opportunity and move forward with a positive attitude.

The key is to have the latter, but to do this; the whole corporate organization needs to be fully aligned in the process. Those directly influenced by the “Change” need to be supported and nurtured so they receive consistent supportive signals of encouragement from their colleagues and management. For example, with the “frizzy hair look”, here the organization would need to promote and publicly value the skills associated with a bohemian and creative attitude. If the business still wanted the “pre-rained look”, then the employee would feel ostracised and may eventually leave the company as they perceived themselves as not fitting in to the required organizational culture.

There are many potential learnings for the HR Team from this “frizzy hair” analogy, the most important one being the environment the business establishes to accommodate and support those employees influenced by the “Change” that they have initiated. Frequently, employees are condemned for not coping with “Change”, but rather it is the fault of the organization for not fully anticipating their employee’s demands and needs as a result of the “Change”.

One final question for you to ponder a little bit further. For those of us with no hair, does this mean that we can cope with change easier than other employees?

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