When I first heard that President Obama was taking on “health care reform” by passing major legislation, I winced. Not because it isn’t necessary that the nation address that issue, not because of any particular aspect of the law; I winced because this action revealed the failure of Mr. Obama and his advisers to understand the change process in people. In doing so, they set themselves up for major resistance.
Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson probably wasn’t required reading in the Ivy League schools but it should be for anyone serious about changing our public education system for the better. The book opens with “The Story Behind the Story” by Kenneth Blanchard which contains this applicable statement, “…living in constant white water with the changes occurring all the time at work or in life can be stressful, unless people have a way of looking at change that helps them understand it.”
So as we once again approach the changes that will come with “education reform,” and they will come, we can hem and haw or sniff and scurry around, or, we can reflect on mistakes and plan for the future. We can share a vision of what change should look like. And we will only make progress when we come to understand that the people “who felt they had less power [were] more afraid of what the change imposed from above might do to them. So they resisted change.”
It’s human nature to react to change by first questioning — how will this affect me?
The cheese will move; the question is who will take control of the direction?