Let’s Not Leap to Changes as a PMP Project Manager

by Linda Henman, Ph.D.

JuliusCaesarLast month we celebrated Leap Year. Well, “celebrate” might be a bit over the top. We don’t actually make merry, decorate houses, or even wish each other a happy one. Since Julius Caesar first introduced the concept in 46 BC, we have built our calendars to accommodate one additional day every four years. The reason, as Mr. Caesar recognized, was to keep the calendar year synchronized with the seasonal year. Otherwise, the same number of days in each year would, over time, drift with respect to the event it was supposed to track.

Caesar influenced the calendar, but he didn’t know he was doing it in 46 BC. The “BC” part came later. Pope Gregory straightened things out in 1582, and we’ve done pretty well since.

We used to keep track of time in terms of “BC” and “AD.” The AD stands for anno domini, which is Latin for “year of our lord,” which counts the years since the time of Jesus. Not everyone could recite the Latin, but everyone understood what it meant.

Not any more. Based on my extensive research, which included interviews of the three other women I had dinner with last night, “they” changed AD. We now should say “CE,” which at one time meant “Christian Era” but that now means “Common Era.”

Emperors and popes used to make these decisions, now “they” do. No one asked me, and I wouldn’t have even known what “they” had done if I hadn’t read Dovekeepers, a novel set in 71CE. The other well-educated women at my table knew nothing of this change either.

Count me in as both a champion of and agent for change. We need innovation and creativity to help us with the unique and unprecedented business and social problems we face. No argument there.

But do we really need to keep changing other things like how we keep track of time? Most people, most of the time, don’t want change. Do we really need to keep changing things that were fine to start with? That’s a great question for leaders of every stripe. Do you want to use up the patience of others with unnecessary change?

And how many other decisions do “they” get to be the boss of?

If you found these tips from Linda Henman, Ph.D. of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at PDUs2Go.com.

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