Thursday, September 11, 2014

Adapting to Change or a Redundant Profession?


Adapting to change at any time in ones career is challenging but trying to adapt to change in ones profession at the end of a career is even more challenging.

During our careers we adapt to structural change, organizational change, government change, technological change and even the loss of wonderful colleagues.

Adapting  to changes in ones calling or ones profession is something else. When one is made to feel a profession may be redundant ( no longer needed or useful; superfluous) it is very hard to accept.


Wellness Model

How does a profession become redundant?

Is it because it did not adapt to the environment surrounding it?
- the political environment
- the shifting funding envelopes
- reduced funding overall
- the shifting community environment
- the terminology of the day
- the pressures on educational institutions
- technological advancements

Is it because its founding principles are no longer valid in today's society?
Is it because of a lack of vision? 
Is it because of a lack of leadership? 
It is because of a lack of a statistical  profile?
  • Number of jobs, Value of infrastructure, family spending patterns, number of volunteers, park acreage, etc etc
It is because it didn't use the information available to aid in decision making?
Is it because of a lack of research?
Is it because of an inability to create a common agenda with competing agendas?
  • Recreation, Sport, Active Living, Physical Activity, Wellness
Is it because of an inability to collaborate with competing initiatives?

Is it because of a lack of political awareness & visibility?

Is it because its history was lost along the way? (teaching of the past was not passed on)
(Inuit oral history is very exacting as we found out with the discovery of one of the Franklin ships 2014; not sure the written or oral history of our profession is accurately passed on)

When standing at the crest of  the hill of ones career answering all those questions is quite overwhelming.

Will the meetings in Toronto November 17th & 18th on the National Recreation Framework breathe new life & energy into the recreation profession or pronounce it as officially redundant?

I will be very disappointed if it is the latter but historians will answer the questions and assess value based on the facts they are presented with on what recreation contributed to individuals, communities, institutions, provinces and our country over the last 100 plus years and how it addressed the challenges cited above.


Recreation Connections

1 comment:

Carol Petersen said...

Thanks for the compelling questions Punch. These invoke important but thoughts - it's not that we want to go back but we certainly need to learn from the past to move forward with a strong vision to inspire action into the future. I hope that the conversations in November will be bold and not just an account of where we have ended up. It will require energy and collective will but this could be a change framework that is truly a beacon for the field, our partners and the community.