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Are You a Man or a Mouse?
on 15 April 2010
The department I was with began to change and panic spread. A course was set up called, 'Dealing With Change'. I attended and found that it really should have been called, "Accepting With Grace Whatever Management Imposes'. When I suggested that one way of dealing with unwanted change was to move on, the facilitator sneeringly reframed this as, 'running away from change'! He seemed incapable of thinking outside the box of tricks he had been provided with. Around that time, people began to wave the cheesy book around like Trotskyite students during the sixties waving 'The Thoughts of Chairman Mao'. When redundancy inevitably loomed, the cheesy bookwavers shrieked far louder than those of us who made a positive move to get out and embrace a change that we could create ourselves.
People who are 'mice' and who run around a 'maze' hoping to find 'cheese' will love this book. But the time comes to grow up; that's the change that this book does not acknowledge and embrace. Not all change is good, not all change is bad. Change is change, it is the nature of the world. Nothing stays the same. This is a 'feel good' book. Those 'mice' that have been fortunate enough to escape unwanted change can patronizingly offer it to the unlucky ones and feel that they have discharged their responsibility. Unlucky 'mice' can read it and feel better - like a child who is abused being given a sweet by the abuser. I suppose if you are starving you can always try eating this book.
There are practical things that can be done if you do not like the way things have turned out but they have to be specific to the change. There is no magic formula, no Holy Grail, no 'Popeye's Spinach' to help you when things go pear shaped. If you face redundancy you can do an audit of your skills, you can write a new CV or resume, you can try networking. Cheesy optimism is not going to help. The world is a tough place and some places are worse than others. If you are homeless and starving like most people in the world, this book will not help you. Of course this book is not aimed at homeless starving people but it is difficult to see who it is aimed at - unless it is supercilious managers and obsequious employees. Are you a man or a mouse?
Not all change is good. It is not your fault if things go wrong. All good things must come to an end. There is no end to common sense sayings that cost nothing. This book is a waste of money and any company that hands out copies of it is so patently mishandling its finances that anyone working for it should seriously consider bailing out while there is still time.