Thinking About Change by Deb Andres

By AAFCS Team posted 04-12-2024 10:31 AM


A few decades ago, when I was teaching high school Family & Consumer Sciences, our school staff were engaged in a book-study of Spencer Johnson’s (now renowned) book “Who Moved My Cheese.”

Little did I know the wisdom of that book would have such a long-lasting impact on my personal and professional life. Sometimes I have been complacent to change. I took my time in adapting to what is going to change, whether I want it to or not (much like Haw in the book). A few times, though much less commonly, I dug my heels in and refused to allow change because I was too scared of the unknown (like Hem in the book). Other times I have been more like Sniff, who could sense winds of change coming before they started things in motion. And then there’s Scurry, who I almost fully identify with. I am a take-action kind of person who believes anything is possible if you have the right resources and people in place to make it happen. Being intentional and making a choice is required to allow those plans to come to fruition.

Each of these responses to change have an important role in the final outcome of anything that is meant to have significant impact. We need the Hems of the world to help us slow down and build a strong argument, through research and lived experiences, for the rationale for change.

We need the Haws to show nay-sayers that change can happen for the better, if we are but willing to adapt to the new situation. It takes some time, and certainly a lot of contemplation, but once you get your mind wrapped around it, you wonder why you may not have been the first one on the band-wagon.

Those who can relate to Sniff, are visionaries. They see the dust on the horizon created by change, and have an intuitive way of knowing whether the dust is from a storm, a stampede, or a societal change. They make the rest of us scratch our heads and wonder, “Why didn’t I see that coming?” These visionary folks help us weather change with their optimism and encouragement, even in the midst of our fear.

And then there was Scurry. As I mentioned before, I identify with Scurry the most. I see the big picture, the impact potential, the expansion possibilities, and the synergy that can be gained from the proposed change and I get started. Back in the day when I took the Holland Hexagon self-assessment, it should be no surprise that I ranked highest in “Enterprising” with “Social” being a close second.

As we get closer to the AAFCS Annual Conference, I hope that you celebrate with me the accomplishments of the past year and the people who have made positive things happen in their workplace, in the FCS profession, and in our Association. We need their efforts and enthusiasm to help us adapt to future change. I lift my glass up to toast the many amazing colleagues that I have been working with the past 10 months as I pour a new glass for those stepping up. Thank you!

I also ask you to think about the change that is coming to our association. What role do you want to play? Sniff?, Scurry?, Hem?, or Haw? It really is a choice we each can make as we set our professional and personal goals. Change: Scary? Sure! Necessary? Absolutely! But you don’t have to do it alone – as we are the American Association of FAMILY and Consumer Sciences!