“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”.
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. Given that I have just shaken up and changed many things, I especially related to it and found it affirming.
Change is a daily way of life now, it’s faster, more consistent and happening all the time and all around us. Change happens sometimes quickly and dramatically and sometimes slowly and subtly, but it is always moving and 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. In business, this is especially important because being up to date and relevant is a must to stay competitive.
Here are 5 ways to anticipate and benefit from change better
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. Giving people a fresh user experience either on line or in person keeps them interested and coming back.
Expect things to change and look for the slow signs. “Smell the cheese often so you see when it’s going old”. Is it getting harder to find new customers? Are you not getting enough referrals? Is your customer retention down? Sometimes it’s subtle signs that are not always easy to see, but important to notice.
Trust your instincts, don’t wait, and make small changes that can make a difference. 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 do make a difference.
Be ready and stay ready to adapt to change. When Sniff and Scurry moved on when their cheese moved, Hem and Haw both decided to wait it out and hope that their cheese would return instead of moving on and finding new cheese and adapting to change. Often, we don’t want things to change because we fear it, but we feel free and the best when we are moving rather than staying stuck. “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 business terrain. A willingness to notice change, adapt to it and prepare ourselves for it is a valuable skill that will take our success and attitude far.
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.
With a new year comes new opportunities and an invigorated new attitude of commitment and action. What changes do you feel happening about you and what changes are you planning for the new year?
Deborah Shane is Top 100 Small Business Champion 2012, Career Author, branding/media strategist, writer and speaker. She hosts her Toolbox Blogand a popular weekly Business Radio Show that has over 108K downloads! She is a regular contributor to SmallBizTrends.com, Monster, Blogher, PersonalBrandingBlog.com, Forbes.com. Her book Career Transition-make the shift is available on Amazon.com and all major book sellers. Deborah delivers smart ideas and solutions, which make her a popular go-to resource for CNN, CBS, Fox and Forbes.