Everyday Invalidations Change,Loss And Grief-The Business Edition

Change is a hot word these days it is sizzling in fact aka transition, systemic shifts, transformations, impermanence, etc

Loss is moderately used and has some degree of popularity in business aka financial loss, sales losses, loss of market share and talent loss.

Grief-wtf?  We don’t talk about that here.  Grief is only talked about at a funeral.


How come?  A business goes bankrupt, doors are locked everyone is out on the street without a  paycheck and nowhere to go.  What are the emotions that may be present during this change event?


A business is sold and bought and the new owners remove all of the legacy management and replace with “their type of people.”  For the remaining employees what are the emotions that may be present with this change effort?


An entire team is eliminated due to automation.  Their jobs are now done by machines.  How might others feel about this transformation?


A key account that has been a revenue anchor for a company has been lost to the competitor after months of negotiation.  Due to this loss a company wide re-org needs to take place.  How do the employees feel about this?  What emotions related to change, loss and grief may they experience?


In the above examples a change, a loss and a grief reaction happens.  The change is duly noted and recorded as might be some portion of the loss.  My working hypothesis is that the grief is swept under the carpet, it gets denied and invalidated.  What might be the unspoken or the hidden emotions of these change efforts? Does it matter?


As I am studying the “change” piece as well as much larger systemic and social drivers of change my question returns to when do we grieve?  How does the current business system invalidate the grief piece of this chain of human events?  Even thought we seem to be heading to a more emotionally literate or intelligent workplace I am sorry but I don’t see it happening.  What I have experienced is greed, indifference, and apathy-A Git’Er Done approach!


I am a supporter of EQ/EI and overall social-emotional literacy.  How come we don’t respect grief in a business context?  My assumption is that even in the 21st century our paradigm is to separate the intellectual portion of business with that of the social/emotional even during change initiatives.


When do we infuse compassion and vulnerability with the change process?

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