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Mommy, They're Movin' My Cheese Again!

By Art van Bodegraven | 01/10/2010 | 7:12 AM

Dr. Gabriel Weisskopf, CEO of Softair AG, has wryly observed  "change is inevitable - except from a vending machine."  And, so it is, which brought Spencer Johnson's 1998 mini-classic Who Moved My Cheese? to mind.

The little book has been much abused, sometimes being handed out during periods of turmoil as a managerial way of saying, "Get over it, and get back to work."  Difficulty in dealing with change is not confined to a rabble of knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers, though.  It afflicts us all in some degree, no matter how enlightened we may think we are.

And, it's not a challenge confined to individuals.  Organizations - and their operating relationships - struggle with change.  Wheteher we are inclined to be reactors or proactors, continuous change stresses our capablilities and the quality of our business relationships.

Weisskopf maintains that we collectively live on a planet called Comfort Zone.  I'll add that the planet is ringed with the Moons of Denial.  Nevertheless, change is a constant in our business lives, and winners will be facing change and taking action.  But, it's not as easy as a motivational book might lead you to believe.

By the way, it's perfectly okay to challenge the premises of change, as long as the challenge is healthy and not a smokescreen for the warm fuzzy option of inaction.  At the end of the day, though, management by hope is not a workable strategy in a universe of change, especially when tightly linked supply chain performance is at stake.

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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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