November 2020
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TD Magazine

Maintain Your Career During Disruption

Monday, November 2, 2020

If we didn't know about workplace disruption prior to COVID-19—whether because of a merger and acquisition or a new CEO, for example—we certainly know about it now. But how do we show up for work when we're stressed and distracted with concerns?

In "Don't Let Disruption Derail Your Career," Tom E. Jones provides guidance and tools to help employees stay focused and maintain their career, maximize teamwork and problem-solving skills, and establish a personal support network. "Knowing how to balance and blend your efforts between maintaining the minimum results and attending to higher priorities is vital to your ability to achieve goals and objectives" during times of disruption, Jones writes.


Failure will happen during a crisis. View it as an opportunity to learn. Then, to determine how to resolve the problem, follow this four-step action guide:

Identify the cause. Clearly define what went wrong by gathering data on what, where, when, and how. Select the most likely cause and test assumptions.

Develop options. Determine who owns the problem, and define desired results. Prioritize a list of workable options, and pick the one most likely to work.


Implement a solution. Brainstorm possible threats or opposition to the plan, along with the severity of each and likelihood of it occurring.

Evaluate the result. Set timelines and establish incentives, both positive and negative, for compliance. Take action and follow up to see that the problem is resolved.

These tips were adapted from the November 2020 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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