Go to homepage
Get a Demo
Get a Demo

Preview Mode: Access 20% of each content piece.

to get full access!


Adapting to Change and Upskilling Teams

Dec 2, 2020 | 12m

Gain Actionable Insights To:

  • Performing skill-gap analysis to show your team the way forward
  • How change agents can amplify your messaging and influence peer groups
  • Why personalization is key

Who Moved My Cheese?

A popular allegory in the business world describes four mice who live in a maze and look for cheese. Moving in pairs, the two groups happen upon a room full of cheese and settle into a comfortable routine of consumption. However, with the cheese in the room dwindling over time, the first group has anticipated the need to find a new supply of cheese and ventures out to find it. 

However, the second group has incorrectly assumed that the cheese in the room will stay plentiful, and one of them angrily remarks, “Who moved my cheese?” Locked into their routine and unwilling to change, the second group distresses over their situation. Faced with starvation, one of them makes the brave choice to break the cycle of complacency and begins a journey to find new cheese – this character succeeds in doing so and reflects upon the success and growth experienced from leaving the comfort zone. 

Just as the characters in Spencer Johnson’s _Who Moved My Cheese _learnt to adjust to inevitable change, finding greater rewards through their constant search for more cheese, your business teams can also upgrade and upskill themselves to stay relevant and fight fit in an era of change and disruption.

Grappling With Change

When the winds of change are blowing, the captain must be absolutely clear on where the ship is headed. To drive your change strategy as a team leader, you need to understand where you’re taking your team and possess the skills to succeed in doing so. How do you decide on what direction to take? The key lies in analysing the gap that exists between where your team currently stands and where you need them to be. With this, you can understand where the shortfalls are and develop a plan to bridge the gap.

For most people, change is difficult to embrace, and once you’ve established where your team needs to be, you need to follow that up by getting your team excited about the need for change. Each team member should arrive at a self-realisation on the importance of change. 

I highly recommend getting your team acquainted with Who Moved My Cheese, as well as the lessons that it illustrates, to get your team in the “change or die” mindset. You want them to see the importance of not simply maintaining the status quo, and that they will eventually fade away if they reject change. However, putting up a stale PowerPoint slideshow for your team to sit through is a poor way to bring the content to them. If you can convince them to read the original book, that would help greatly, but there are also YouTube videos where they’ve turned the story into little cartoons – this option actually works much better for people who do not have English as their first language. 

Once you and your team have reached a shared understanding regarding the need for change, you can run workshops to kick-start their journey towards it. While workshops operate against the backdrop of needing change and achieving the goals originally set for your team, Who Moved My Cheese works well as a catalyst to get them familiar with the mindset. 

As you introduce the lessons of the book, you can get people to identify themselves with the characters while you gain insights into their resistance and why they feel that way. You need to build towards it from the ground up, especially for a team that’s been together for a long time and operating the same way for just as long – it’s going to be difficult to steer them away or move them along from what they’ve done their whole life. 

If you’re trying to establish a team of world-beaters, can you invest enough time to make it happen, or would you have to guide them out of the system and rehire people with the right skills? I strongly feel that the answers don’t lie with the second option. It’s best if you give everybody the opportunity to change and make the move, and from a leadership position, establish a level of legacy on how you move things. 

While it’s true that these people have been doing the same thing for a long time, there’s a lot of knowledge and wisdom that they’ve cultivated over the years. You should leverage on their expertise to bring about change more effectively, rather than replacing them with fresh faces. The workshops are a key asset in beginning the change process, but they are not a cure-all – the process is a journey for both you and your team, and journeys take time.

To keep reading this content, sign up for a free trial.

Get full access FREE for 30 days