The subject of change has been the most talked about topic in recent years especially in organizations. Perhaps, the reason for this is the speed or frequency of the change that constantly disrupts the normal flow of things in a company or co-operative. They talk about reorganization, reengineering, restructuring, revision of policy and procedure and I’m sure most people are having a difficult time coping and adjusting with these changes. Even though change is inevitable and it is happening every day, we still resist it, shocked and stressed by it. Whether we like it or not, we have to learn to accept the inevitability of change and prepare for it so that it will not sap our energy and not waste time fighting it.
Nowadays, we can no longer afford to sit comfortably in our cozy chairs and think we can bask in it forever. Gone are those days. I wrote a few issues ago about the volatility and unpredictability of our work and business environment. You will wake up one morning and find out you no longer enjoy your perks, privileges and incentives or you have been transferred or worse, you have been replaced. We can no longer insist on the way we usually do things in the office.
People change too. So don’t be surprised to find out when your best friend betrays you or your worst enemy suddenly was the one who came to your rescue when you are down and in need of help. Some people change for the better but not all. Some of them for the worst. I often hear people who climbed the corporate ladder and become CEOs and Managers or have been in the business for a long time that they think they are the best. I don’t have issues of what they think about themselves. But it is not right to be haughty and put down other people.
There is a book that is more than 20 years ago but it still finds some considerable relevance in our time. In fact, it was included as one of the bestselling business books. It is entitled, “Who Moved My Cheese?” written by Dr. Spencer Johnson. Over 26 million copies were sold around the world and it was published in 37 languages. It is a parable or some kind of a fable where the characters are two rats and two little people who live in a maze full of cheese which, as you will soon read if you haven’t done already, ran out and that’s when the problem began.
One character sensed something about the mountain of cheese becoming smaller and started to get ready to move when things get worse. Another one is not mindful of the change and just enjoying, still comfortably doing his routine. Then there is another character having witnessed that the cheese was gone, kept wondering where did the cheese go or as the title suggested, who moved the cheese. The fourth character did not do anything. He just wanted to stay there and wait for the cheese to re-appear.
For those who left and began searching for a new cheese, found another mountain of cheese and these are what they learned from the experience:
1. Change Happens
They keep moving the cheese
2. Anticipate Change
Get ready for the cheese to move
3. Monitor Change
Smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old
4. Adapt To Change Quickly
The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese
Move with the cheese
6. Enjoy Change!
Savor the adventure and enjoy the taste of new cheese!
7. Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again
They keep moving the cheese.