In a world filled with change, one may wonder How to keep up? From the way we communicate, travel, and perform simple day-to-day functions, everything is changing, and fast. Many often wonder Is all the constant change necessary? As I think back on all the skills our grandparents and great grandparents possessed, such as carpentry, sewing, welding, and typewriting, just to name a few, it seems as if it was good enough for them, it should be good enough for us. But as technology advances, globalization increases, and modernization takes place, we must all face change, an inevitable part of life. From home to the work place, we must accept change at some point of our life. As I read the material and watched the videos, I begin to further see why change is needed and some of the barriers to change. I discovered some things that inspire us to change and what does not. And lastly, I learned several lessons that I can use in my everyday life and share with others.
My definition of change is adapting to the growing needs of things and people around us. In the videos Who Moved My Cheese, That Used to be Us, and Miss Earnestine, I saw change from three different angles. Who Moved My Cheese showed various aspects as to how people adapt to change in their lives. Some people have little to no change and are often left with little to nothing for survival because their methods of survival may have depleted or simply become extinct. As mentioned in the text, If you do not change, you can become extinct. (Johnson, 1998). Miss Earnestine displayed change as moving from what you are to what you want to become in life, first starting with your mindset (Harding, 2014). After losing her sister, she had to change her mindset as well as her lifestyle, in order to become the oldest body builder. Once she made the necessary changes, she remained consistent in nearly all of her daily activities. She Set simply set her mind on a goal, accomplished the goal, and continued to follow the same mindset.
As I write this discussion, I think back ten years, when I graduated from undergrad and vowed never to attend school again. Here I sit in my tenth class preparing for graduation, wondering what changed my mind. As I think of the answers, I know they involved the barriers of change that was covered by (Gino & Staats, 2015) in Why Organizations Dont Learn. First on the list, a fixed mindset. After going through all the late nights and early mornings, extensive study sessions, and thousands of dollars in student loans, I fixed my mind on never attending college again. I was also afraid of making the same mistakes in the past, simply a fear of possible failure.
But as the years passed by, I began to recognize the changes in my career, and advancement wasnt coming easily. Everyone around me had the same credentials, Bachelors degree and several years of service. I needed something that would make me stand out and get me additional knowledge that would be applicable in other areas. So here I stand, four months from graduation, with endless possibilities for my next move. Although I faced several barriers of change, I continued to go forward with my life-changing decision.
Lastly, after watching all the videos, the most valuable lesson learned is change is simply dependent upon the nature of the human being, the perception to change, and the world around you (First, 2016). As we have evolved from a connected to a hyper-connected human nature, we must continue to progress or well be left behind (Friedman & Mandelbaum, 2011). Your perception of change will determine how you react to change. Now I know my perception to change, do you?
First, Z. (2016, April 7). Technology Changes, Good Management Doesn’t. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2016/04/technology-changes-good-ma…
Friedman, T., & Mandelbaum, M. (2011, September 28). That Used to be Us: The World is Flat. Retrieved from Youtube.com:
Gino, F., & Staats, B. (2015, November 1). Why Organizations Don’t Learn. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2015/11/why-organizations-dont-lea…
Harding, K. (2014, February 4). The Remarkable Story of Miss Ernestine Shepard (Video). Retrieved from
Johnson, S. (1998). Who Moved My Cheese – Am Amazomg Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Lif. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
One never knows how impactful change can be until there is a need for it. Last year, I felt a constant yearn for change but did not know what needed to be changed or how to achieve said change. After months of wondering, I jumped into action and decided to change where I lived and worked. Suddaby and Foster (2017) stated that the escalation of commitment is a barrier to change because people and organizations have a social need for consistency. The socially appropriate thing to do is to continue doing what works; however, being committed to a singular idea is harmful to natural progression.
The movie adaptation of Who Moved My Cheese has four characters who all reacted differently to change. At the beginning of my journey, I displayed a disposition similar to Hem, who was complacent in where he was in life (Stoleriu, 2012). After realizing that wanting change was not enough to facilitate change, my disposition is now similar to Haw, who explored the unknown in search of better results (Stoleriu, 2012). Change has occurred in my life; however, the process of seeking advancement taught me that change requires action, and most importantly a strategic plan.
Organizations are expected to change with the times. There is a notion that organizations that stay afloat gain a competitive edge and those that cannot are left in the past (Johns Hopkins University, 2011). Suddaby and Foster (2017) stated that an organizations history does not always depict their future. They believe that organizational change could take place even when it seems as if it happens too late. A fact we cannot deny is that the economy and professional climate constantly changes. Organizations can resist change, but this will only delay the achievement of their desired outcome.
If change becomes an option, it is because possibilities are limited (Suddaby & Foster, 2017). In an organization, a manager typically is a change agent. Fernandez and Rainey (2017) stated that managers effectively facilitate change by using verbal and written communication. Ms. Ernestines sister took the role of a manager when she suggested that the two change their lifestyles and become bodybuilders. A barrier to this change was the death of Ms. Ernestines sister. However, when Ms. Ernestines health began to decline, she was faced with few options. She knew if she wanted to live a long life, she would have to live healthier (Prevention Magazine, 2014). Her sister motivating her from beyond the grave inspired her to accomplish their goal of living healthy lives and becoming the worlds oldest bodybuilders. Ms. Ernestines story teaches us that Suddaby and Fosters (2017) statement about history not reflecting the future is true. No one would have thought that a woman in her 70s with high blood pressure would become the worlds oldest bodybuilder. That goes to show that the need for change can occur at any time, and it is never too late to accomplish goals.
Fernandez, S., & Rainey, H. G. (2017). Managing successful organizational change in the public sector. Debating Public Administration, 7-26.
Johns Hopkins University. (2011). Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum [Video file]. Retrieved from
Prevention Magazine. (2014). The Remarkable Story of Ernestine Shepherd [Video file]. Retrieved from
Stoleriu, A. (2012). Who Moved My Cheese [Video file]. Retrieved from
Suddaby, R., & Foster, W. M. (2017). History and organizational change. Journal of Management, 43(1), 19-38.
SAMPLE RESPONSE 1
Poor communication presents multiple challenges within the workplace. You pointed out a key factor in change resistance and rebellion by employees, which is lack of employee inclusion in change planning. It is amazing how important it is for supervisors to just talk to their employees. It does not take much either, just straight-forward honesty and sharing known facts. People just want to be told what is going on around them and they want to know that management cares about them. Communicating change can garner critical employee buy-in and support. After all, change cannot be successfully implemented without employee buy-in. For example, Palmer, et al, describe organizations that stimulate innovation as organizations that share information (Palmer, Dunford & Buchanan, pg 120, 2017). Palmer, Dunford and Buchanan go further to describe individual change readiness through five beliefs that individuals have about change (Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan, pg 122, 2017). These include belief that some type of change is warranted, belief that the method of change selected is the best response, belief in their own ability to support the change, belief in management to provide needed resources to implement the change, and positive belief in personal cost and benefits (Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan, pg 122, 2017). These factors support the fact that the more supervisors communicate with employees regarding pending changes, the better and smoother the changes will be supported and implemented. I learned from and appreciated your post.
(Martha Elizabeth (Beth) Doucette
Palmer, Ian, Dunford, Richard & Buchanan, David (2017). Managing Organizational Change, A Multiple Perspectives Approach. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
SAMPLE RESPONSE 2
Your statement about getting instant results could not be more accurate. Businesses thrive on information that is continuously updated. From statistics on consumer habits, poles for voters, information is always changing and always available from one source or another. Businesses will leverage technology to reach customers and make business decisions based upon the most relevant and up to date information. Changes in technology occur every second; I was watching tv the other day and say a smart toaster complete with a touch screen and LCD. Not sure I would buy it but, it just speaks to the changes that are occurring on every level. Consumers want more information and want to be connected even via smart refrigerators, watches, etc.. I could not agree more with your thoughts on keeping employees involved in change. Employee or stakeholder buy-in is essential to a smoother transition into the change. One thing that is often overlooked is how the change will impact those that carry out the new task or are affected by the change. Leadership should ensure that all levels affected by the change are involved and have a voice in the situation to ensure its success. Perspective from the various stakeholders is essential in also getting the end product or change right the first time. This helps eliminate rework and frustration for all involved (Velasco & Sansone, 2019).
Velasco, M., & Sansone, C. (2019). Resistance to Diversity and Inclusion Change Initiatives: Strategies for Transformational Leaders. Organization Development Journal, 37(3), 920. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true…