I just finished my annual visit with Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese. I find this simple allegory and story so timeless, relevant and helpful every time I read it.
“Haw now realized that the change probably would have not taken him by surprise, if he had been watching what was happening all along, and if he had anticipated change”.
Change is a daily way of life now, faster, more consistent and happening all around us. Change happens sometimes quickly and dramatically and sometimes slowly and subtly, but always happening. Are you feeling it, seeing it and prepared for it?
The main premise of Who Moved My Cheese is about anticipating change by noticing the small things changing around you and being prepared to move with it immediately, instead of ignoring it. It’s very easy to fall behind and get left behind.
Change Means Opportunity
Here are five ways to anticipate change and use it as a door to opportunity.
Become More Alert with What’s Happening Around You
Be more observant and engage regularly with your customers, mentors and other people you trust to elicit feedback and suggestions on how you can improve procedures, services, customer service. Are you giving people a fresh user experience online and in person to keep them interested and coming back?
Expect Things to Change and Look for the Slow Signs
“Smell the cheese often so you can sense when it’s going old”. Is it getting harder to find new customers? Are you not getting enough referrals? Is your customer retention down? Have you lost existing customers? Is your heart still in it? Sometimes it’s the subtle signs that are not always easy to see, but important to notice.
Trust Your Instincts — Don’t Wait — Be Proactive in Making Small Changes
Usually, we know when things are not going just right, but we choose to ignore it. Instincts are powerful signs and messages we get and they are usually right on. Respect them, stop and evaluate them and act on them to make small subtle changes that can make a difference.
Be Ready and Stay Ready to Adapt
Sniff and Scurry, the main characters in the book moved on when their cheese moved. Hem and Haw decided to wait it out and hoped that their cheese would return (it didn’t) instead of moving on to find new cheese. Often, we don’t want things to change because we fear it, but getting ahead of change helps us deal with it. “Movement in a new direction helps you find new cheese”.
Look for the Opportunities That Change Brings
There are incredible opportunities in trends and change. We can never get too comfortable or set in our ways in this fast paced business terrain. A willingness to change and adapt is an essential skill. Embrace change as an opportunity, not a burden.
Hire A Professional To Help You Change
We sometimes need professional help to get us going. If you are stuck and struggling with self motivation then tap your community for a trusted professional to help. Working with a consultant or business coach can be very enlightening and inspiring. Make sure you get solid referrals.
Haw stopped to write on the wall and wondered why he had always thought that a change would lead to something worse. Now he realized that change could lead to something better.
Each new year brings with it an invigorated attitude of commitment and action. Streamline and simplify, review and update, listen to feedback, seek out testimonials.
What changes do you need to make?
What changes are you planning to make to ensure your success?
Open Door Photo via Shutterstock
Change means opportunity. But I have to admit that it takes a while for people to adjust. While some may welcome it more than others, it is so easy to get into the sinking hole of being stagnant.
We all go through periods of stagnation, but they are best used to re-energize, focus and get into action.They reveal that change is exactly what’s needed.