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The Transformative Power of Change

As Baxter’s VP of Talent Acquisition, Mike Demirjian has been particularly busy during our latest phase of transformation. Despite his schedule, he made time to discuss his experiences, insights, and advice on how to lead or navigate through change.

As he says, "Change is not a destination; it is a journey. It is a response to the ever-evolving needs of our organization, our people, and our customers. Change is necessary for growth, innovation, and improvement."

How has change been a part of your Baxter experience?

From day one, change has been a constant theme. Even when I was going through the interview process, it was very clear to me that to be successful in this role, I had to be resilient and optimistic and, above all, embrace change. It was not optional.

Before I joined Baxter, Talent Acquisition was outsourced, and it wasn’t working well. Things were in disarray, and leadership was looking for someone who could set a clear strategy for a robust, operationally efficient TA organization and build it out globally.

It was going to take a village to build an exceptional Talent Acquisition organization. I hired people who would drive change and build relationships with our stakeholders to encourage them to drive change, too.

Leaders always keep one eye on the future

In today’s fast-paced work environment, change is inevitable. To reap the most benefits from this change and stay ahead, leaders must be proactive and adaptable, anticipating and addressing barriers before they become obstacles.

Leading through change is not an easy task, but it is necessary. We can help mitigate change-induced stress by understanding the why of change, being vulnerable as leaders, and building the right relationships. Most of all, anticipate change. To achieve this, you must be resourceful, curious, and motivated to learn about changes in your organization, role, team, and employee experience. Speak up, ask questions, and lean on colleagues to gain a deeper understanding of what's on the horizon.

Fail Fast and Move On

I fail every day.

I say that with pride because I know this also means that I am pushing forward, embracing needed change, and refining areas of focus. I will try 100 things, and if only one thing is correct, that's okay because that one thing might be the critical action that will make the most significant difference in what needs to be happening.

When someone claims that they have never truly failed or have failed only once, don't believe them. Your character is largely influenced by how many times you have failed and how you have learned from those experiences.

And this doesn’t stop at work. My advice to my boys is the same as my advice to all of you: you'll likely encounter numerous rejections before achieving success. However, when you finally achieve it, the satisfaction will be even greater. Therefore, don't lose confidence, don't quit, and keep pushing forward. Remember, you'll never attain your desired outcome unless you persevere and fight for it.

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