Adapting to Change – Who Moved my Cheese ?
Dr. Spencer Johnson published a parable about how people deal with change and adversity back in 1998. The story of Sniff, Scurry, Hem, and Haw. Adapting to change is nothing new- horse and buggy manufacturers had to adapt and deal with automobile manufacturers. In recent years, Kodak, the company who made photography film has lost a lot of their market to the boom of digital photography. Borders bookstores had to file for bankruptcy after not having a clear strategy to compete with Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
Veterinary Medicine has been in a flux for the past few years as well. If you are scratching your head wondering where your clients and income went, you are not alone. Depending on your location, you may or may not be struggling as other areas are. The key is to recognize what contributed to the changes, and what you need to do about it. In private practice, the goal of helping patients hasn’t changed. That is the same. How you communicate and educate clients about their pet’s care is where you adapt to the changes.
Identify your thoughts in the characters of Sniff, Scurry, Hem, or Haw?
Who Moved My Cheese?
(from a cliff notes synopsis found online)
Two of the characters named Sniff and Scurry are mice. They represent parts of us that are simple and instinctive. Hem and Haw are the little people, representing those complex parts of us as human beings. Sometimes we are like Sniff, who anticipates change early by sniffing it out, or Scurry, who quickly scurries into action and adapts. Maybe we are more like Hem, who denies change and resists it out of fear, or Haw, who learns to adapt in time when he sees something better. Whatever part of us we choose, we all share the common need to find our way in the maze of life and succeed in changing times.
Wisdom in a Nutshell from Who Moved My Cheese?
• Anticipate change.
• Adapt quickly.
• Enjoy change.
• Be ready to change quickly, again and again.
• Having Cheese makes you happy.
• The more important your Cheese is to you, the more you want to hold on to it.
• If you do not change, you can become extinct.
• Ask yourself “What would I do if I weren’t afraid?”
• Smell the Cheese often so you know when it is getting old.
• Movement in a new direction helps you find New Cheese.
• When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.
• Imagining myself enjoying New Cheese, even before I find it, leads me to it.
• The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find New Cheese.
• It is safer to search in the maze than remain in a cheeseless situation.
• Old beliefs do not lead you to New Cheese.
• When you see that you can find and enjoy New Cheese, you change course.
• Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to the bigger changes that are to come.
• Read the Handwriting on the Wall
• Change happens. They keep moving the Cheese.
• Move with the Cheese and enjoy it!
I personally don’t believe that veterinarians weren’t paying attention or complacent, in all cases. . . .Going from doing 3-4 spays or neuters a week to 1 every 6-8 weeks was pretty obvious that something was going on. People (vets) were aware of the changes but weren’t sure about how to adapt, or the tools needed weren’t around at the time. Perhaps it was a bit of both.