The COVID-19 pandemic has been a massive wakeup call to businesses and organisations everywhere. It shows that change remains a constant and you cannot settle in for the slow grind, because major unforeseen events can occur, throwing a spanner in the works.
You may have heard mention of the MWM library, a growing collection of books that educate, inspire and entertain us when we most need them.
In our organisation, we believe it’s cool to be kind when it comes to inspiring minds, which is why we provide a library of ‘good reads’ for the team.
We have many favourites and for many different reasons, which we will share with you in due course. However, if we were to name drop just a few gems we rate Ray Dalio’s ‘Principles’, Jim Collins ‘Good to Great’ and ‘Built to Last’, and James Clear’s ‘Atomic Habits’, all influential beyond measure.
The works of Spencer Johnson and Ken Blanchard are also well worth spending some time with as they tackle topics like managing change and leadership within your personal and organisational life, through parables that decode our behaviours and attitudes in accessible ways.
As embracing change is our topic for today, tomorrow, and probably forever, we are drawn to one of Dr Spencer Johnson’s famous texts, ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ – now a business classic with lessons for all, from leaders to managers and employees and applicable to all areas of our lives.
In brief, Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, is a fable about four characters who live in a maze and all love cheese. It’s a great work because in its simplistic storytelling, contains several allusions and metaphors about how we tackle change and choices.
When the cheese disappears, Scurry and Sniff enthusiastically head out into the maze to find new cheese. On the other hand, Hem and Haw feel betrayed and complain. They waste their time and energy hoping the old cheese will return. Haw realises the old cheese won’t return so he sets out into the maze in search for new cheese. He writes what he learns on the walls hoping that Hem will follow him. Eventually he discovers new cheese and sees that Scurry and Sniff were already there.
Cheese is the metaphor for what you want to have in life.
It might be scoring a good job, enjoying a loving relationship, money or health. The very core message of the book is this: things constantly change so we must adapt. The quicker we adapt to change the more satisfied we’ll be.
The key lessons in the book are:
a.) Change Happens
b.) Anticipate Change
c.) Monitor Change
d.) Adapt to Change Quickly
e.) Embrace Change
f.) Enjoy Change
In these busy times, we don’t tend to sit still for long, but when we do it’s good to put the mobile phone away, grab a coffee or tea and a good book to read.
I am reminded of a quote the medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer once said, “Time and tide wait for no man, (or woman).” He was right.
Ultimately, what has changed? The answer is everything!