The Dichotomy of Tradition and Innovation

Jenn Miller

Published On: May 26, 2020

Categories: Community, SentryOne 0

There was a newly married man who wanted to cook a ham for his wife. As it turns out, his wife knew how to prepare a great ham. She advised him to start by cutting off both ends of the ham. When he asked his wife why, she said it was because her mom made a great ham and always cut off both ends of the ham.

Out of curiosity, the husband called the mom and inquired as to why she cut the ends off the ham when she cooked it, and she said the same as her daughter. She cut the ends of the ham off because that is what her mom did, and her mom made a great ham.

He was seriously intrigued by this tradition, so he decided to call the grandmother to inquire about why she cut the ends off the ham. When the grandmother answered the phone, he asked, “I understand you make a great ham, but why do you cut off the ends of the ham before cooking?” The grandmother responded through laughter, “I cut the ends off of my ham because I had a small pan and it was the only way to get it to fit.”

Reevaluating Why and How We Do Things

It's important to occasionally reevaluate traditions to uncover what purpose they serve, similar to what this young husband did regarding cooking the ham. The reasoning was not valid anymore, but everyone continued to do it just for the sake of doing it. They thought the outcome they wanted was driven by the tradition.

Some people might have an increased workload with less help right now, and we all have to think about our priorities. We shouldn't be doing things simply because that is what we have always done. We must work smarter, not harder.

Finding a New Approach

Some have called this pandemic “The Great Pause.” As the VP of HR at SentryOne and a mom, it certainly has not felt like a pause for me. Like so many of you, I have been overwhelmed by the new work required to teach two young people while getting work projects done and attending multiple team meetings. I often wonder how my single friends are doing navigating this pause and whether they are able to take the time to reevaluate things, read ferociously, and/or find new ways to improve their lives.

At SentryOne, although we have not had time to truly pause, there have been multiple stories of team members becoming exceptionally creative in their approach to work by reevaluating their processes and finding new ways to drive business and projects forward. I wanted to call out this incredible resilience and aptitude so that we can all learn from it as we enter a season of recovery for ourselves and the entire world.

An Era of Transformation

Out of sheer necessity, the current circumstances are leading us to new innovations and evolving how we work and live. Many of us will look back on this time as being difficult, but we will also recall that it prompted an era of transformation, digital or otherwise, for millions of people and organizations.

Jenn is the VP of Human Resources at SentryOne, with more than 20 years of experience as an HR professional. Jenn has had a strong focus on building great cultures, training leaders, and putting strong performance management systems in place in both large and small companies, including AT&T, ADP, CPI Security, and now SentryOne. Jenn has helped SentryOne grow into a global company, with recognition from Gallup two years in a row for being an Exceptional Place to Work.