The Employers' Association

The Employers’ Association (TEA) is a not-for-profit employers’ association, formed in 1939, with offices in Grand Rapids serving the West Michigan employer community. We help more than 600 member companies maximize employee productivity and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, survey data, and consulting services.

TEA is in the business of helping people. This blog is intended to address human issues, concerns and the things that impact people - be they self-perpetuated or externally imposed. Feel free to respond to the thoughts presented here, for without each other, we are nothing!

Friday, May 2, 2014


Why is it that people think starting over means repeating everything they originally did, expecting different results than those that initiated the “re-do?”  Some have labeled such senseless (and meaningless) action as being the definition of insanity.  Rather than focusing upon what DOES NOT (or did not) work, I would prefer to focus on WHAT HAS NOT YET BEEN ATTEMPTED OR CONSIDERED when starting over after an original effort either failed OR produced less than acceptable results.  I think of this new beginning – the fresh perspective from which any journey should originate – as being my “Alpha Protocol.”

Alpha represents the beginning – Omega the end (which lends itself to another article in the near future – that being that every new beginning MUST NECESSARILY reach an end before one can move on to another course of action – a final intentional step I think of as the “omega principle”).  Before we can “undo” what has been “done” we must identify what (specifically) do we not like about the “end” of our journey. Before we can start over, we must identify WHY we do not like where we are (even if we have not yet figured out what we must do differently to alter the direction of our travels) and WHAT we are willing to do to change it.  How invested were you in working towards a logical and fulfilling conclusion that could be “owned” when the journey began?  Did you begin your journey at the request of another – moving in the direction you were pointed using the tools, concepts and preconceived beliefs someone else provided – or did you consider where YOU wanted to go before walking down a path upon which (perhaps) nobody had ever wandered?  If we are truly comfortable with our “omega” there is no amount of discussion, collusion or convincing that will force us to invest our energies in a creation of a new “alpha.”

In order to arrive at a logical conclusion – an answer in which you can believe and feel comfortable – you must first consider where you wish to go and how you hope to get there AFTER defining what you are moving from and why you wish to leave.  In order to initiate the Alpha Protocol you must recognize that every opportunity – every new path upon which you walk – begins at a place from which you must move to accomplish an objective.  You must also realize (and internalize) there are many paths leading from a beginning to an end – and that each end is truly just the beginning of another opportunity not yet revealed rather than an “omega” that will stand the test of time.

We should never initiate the Alpha Protocol lightly.  Once a course of action has been chosen – following much study, review, discussion and debate – it should be allowed to reach a conclusion (even if the “end” is but a detour on the road to a final destination).  There may be many “alpha moments” during the accomplishment of each objective – new beginnings from which opportunity blossoms.  There are few “omega principles” in our daily lives, though, as each “end” is truly but a new beginning to another temporary end (there are very few “finalities” in life – death and taxes being two – while each day dawns with a new beginning before concluding with a resting point that allows us to prepare for another fresh start).  Unless we choose to conduct our lives as they have always been conducted expecting to receive that which has always been provided, everything we do begins at a place which must be left behind if we hope to move towards an end (which is often not determined until it has been achieved).

Those who truly accomplish much in life tend to invoke the Alpha Protocol more frequently than they
succumb to the Omega Principle.  They see life as a series of new beginnings rather than ends – of fresh starts rather than conclusions.  While accomplishing much, they feel much has yet to be accomplished.  They find peace in their discovering moments rather than discovering peace in their moments of discovery.  While each of us should acknowledge that our omega moments often serve as resting points from which we can recharge, refocus and redirect our efforts before seeking another destination, we should also recognize them as but beginnings to another end rather than as ends to each new beginning.