For years I have followed the business advice of John Kotter, an emeritus professor from Harvard, who writes about the reasons corporations fail in their efforts to implement major changes within their organizations. Maybe he can help me with my M&M’s problem.
Kotter observes that businesses struggle to change when they (1) underestimate the challenge of change and (2) fail to remove obstacles that get in the way.
I’m a true disciple of Kotter in applying these two observations to The Change Companies but I fail miserably in heeding his warnings when it comes to cutting down my M&M’s consumption.
I underestimate the challenge of change:
Whenever my sweet tooth is cloyed, I share with friends and family how easy it is for me to deny the temptation of those colorful, candy-coated chocolate nuggets. “It’s no big thing,” I brag. “It just takes self-discipline.”
I fail to remove obstacles that get in the way:
In a remote drawer in my kitchen, under a stack of tea towels, is a plastic container full of M&M’s. They may stay out of sight, but they are never out of my mind.
When my chocolate craving beckons, I can plunder the plastic container from anywhere in the house in 30 seconds or less and retreat undetected.
And I do.
So what have I learned? Perhaps it’s that I can study all of the proven change strategies from accomplished academics, but what really matters is how I apply them to my daily life.
About the author
Since founding The Change Companies® in 1988, Don has worked with approximately 150 agencies and corporations, tailoring Interactive Journals to serve those working and participating in the caring professions. His collaborative efforts in substance use, justice services, impaired driving, healthcare and education have consistently focused on helping individuals explore the process of positive personal change.
Earlier in his career, Don worked in many industries, including hotel management, publishing, higher education administration and healthcare business development. Along the way, he created numerous companies, experiencing both successes and failures. Many of these life lessons and joyous observations found their way into Don’s recent book, The Adventures of Binder-Man.
Don is most proud and appreciative of the outstanding employees who have shaped The Change Companies® for over two decades.
Word of the Week
This word began with the Latin word for “nail.” From this came a description for what happened when a nail was accidentally driven into a horse’s foot during the shoeing process. Such an act would slow or wear down the horse, and “cloy” eventually came to describe anything overburdened or otherwise hobbled.