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Letter: A New Year’s Message

It seems as though the word “change” has become increasingly popular, not only on a national level but also at the state and local levels of government as well. It’s the word that brought the current president into office and it’s the same word that has given us a new county executive.

I can’t say that I know all that much about our current president but I do know both Ed Mangano and Tom Suozzi. I have worked with both men in the past ten years on various issues and find them both to be extremely knowledgeable, respectful and diligent in their responsibilities. I would like to take this opportunity to wish them both and their families a healthy, prosperous and productive New Year.

Change is not something people generally welcome with open arms. Some may even compare it to trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Mark Twain once said, “the only people who welcome change are babies with wet diapers.”

In his book on Management of Organizational Behavior, Paul Hersey writes that once change starts, people with a moderate to a high task-relevant level of readiness will most likely be those most capable of assuming responsibilities for the implementation of the change being implemented. These are people that are achievement-motivated, that seek responsibility, and have a degree of knowledge and experience that proves useful in developing new ways of doing things. I know that both Ed Mangano and his Chief Deputy Executive Rob Walker are just those types of people.

On the other hand people who are already in the organization and understand that a change is needed may as Hersey notes, “become rigid and opposed to change if it is implemented in a directive (high task-low relationship) manner. A directive change style is inconsistent with their perceptions of themselves as being responsible, self-motivated people who should be consulted through the change process. When they are not consulted and change is implemented in an authoritarian manner, conflict often results.” I have personally witnessed the results such conflict can have on an organization, when creative senior managers that are willing to work hard to implement a new way of doing business are passed over and ignored by other senior managers during a change process. I believe that change is a part of life and that you can fit a square peg in to a round hole. You decrease the area of the square peg, increase the radius of the round hole or do a little of both and trust me you can make it fit.

Knowing both Ed and Rob I am sure our new administration will review and consider the experience and knowledge that exists within our county and will use that knowledge and experience to best benefit its people.

God bless and good luck

Henry A. Goessmann

President, Hicksville Gardens Civic Association