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Who moved my…Cereal!?!?

June 18, 2012


I’m happy to again welcome Anna Lisa Leal, a Kronos Project Manager, as a GUEST BLOGGER to provide today’s food for thought:


I recently stopped in for a quick run at the grocery store. I just needed a couple of items, and had squeezed this stop in between some other errands. List: Soy Milk, fresh fruit, a couple of fresh veggies, and my favorite cereal. I zip through the perishables first, grab the soy milk, and round it out with a trip to the cereal aisle…..and then it happened. The cereal aisle had been totally rearranged! I stopped. I looked. I searched high and low. My cereal is a smaller brand (Uncle Sam’s) and there usually aren’t a lot of boxes. I was getting more and more frustrated, and then finally, I found it. Way down at the bottom shelf, about 4/5ths down the aisle. Annoying and now I was running late on top of it all.


If you’ve ever experienced those times when your grocery store totally rearranges the whole store, you know it’s confusing and disorienting. It takes you longer to get through the store as you wander around and crash into other carts as everyone is stumbling around. My experience was only with one area/aisle. This small change to move my favorite cereal was frustrating and it increased my time at the store when I had so little time I had allotted for the trip. I couldn’t help thinking about the book “Who Moved My Cheese”…but in my case it was Cereal – just cereal.


Sometimes, we forget about the impact of changes. If I could compare this very minor change and that level of annoyance, to how our employees feel when we change things that are so very personal to them as the systems that manage their pay, schedules, attendance and leave. They may be thinking things like…..”Will my check be correct? What about my schedule? I’m pretty passionate about my schedule. If my scheduling process or system has changed, will I get the shifts I want? Will others have more opportunities than me? Will the change impact my family? What about attendance? Previously, my manager tracked it on paper. If it’s automated – what does that mean to me?? I’m not sure I want “big brother” watching!? On top of that, you’ve changed the systems that administer my leave! How will that change or impact my ability to ask for leave? I already have so little time in my day to the patient care or support related tasks in my day…and now I have to squeeze all this new stuff in – and I’m slower at these new tasks!”


Fast forward several weeks…weekday, work time. I am in an executive meeting with one of my customers. We were doing a project status meeting and had just concluded the review. The CIO very astutely observed “This is not an IT project. It is a change management and communication project with an IT component”. Sure, leadership and project teams and trainers know the value of new systems -but have we adequately planned for the change and communicated this to our employees? We were rearranging the whole store for the employees. It was a significant and very personal change. Not just cereal.


I thought about small change and big change. I don’t like change when I’m not initiating it. But, I also know that when my grocery store is rearranged, I see or find new products that I might actually like! Sometimes, it’s good to get out of my food rut. I just might find some new favorites! But it might take me awhile to find them.


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