After Michael Miller’s presentation to us about change, I began thinking and realized that one of our own departments has gone through some significant change in the past year an a half and was curious how they handled themselves through it all.
I asked Jane Doyon for her input on these changes:
ME: Jane, I know that you’ve been at the Children’s Center for a while and I know that over the last year and a half there has been some significant change. Can we talk about how that has been? How long have you worked at the BSU Children’s Center?
JANE: This is my 25th year here.
ME: Wow, so I’ll assume you’ve seen your share of changes over there. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your experience here at Bridgewater. What kind of supervisory changes you’ve seen?
JANE: This is the third director I am working for since I started here. I worked for the first director for approximately 5 years, the second director for 20 years, and the newest director for one year now. I don’t recall the name of the first V.P. when I was first employed here, but Martha Jones became vice president shortly after that, then Lynn Willett, then Dave Ostroth, and now Dr. Pina (I think I have this correct.)
ME: Knowing that the children’s center has recently hired a new director and (as a parent of a Children’s Center Student – I’ve noticed) has gone through some significant changes – I thought the topic of this session might resonate with you as a teacher there. I didn’t realize until now, however, that you’ve seen as much change divisionally as you have. What were your initial reactions to having a new director, a new boss, and a significant change?
JANE: I was excited to be working with a new director, yet a little anxious about what changes might occur. Having had the same director for 20 years, the staff and I had a solid understanding of what was expected of us. Being a creature of habit, I knew it would be difficult for me to adjust to several new changes. I am a person that likes to be sure and confident with the duties I perform. Not knowing what those duties would now be definitely had me feeling uneasy.
ME: Knowing what you’ve all experienced the past year at the Children’s Center – how did Michael’s session resonate with you?
JANE: Michael’s talk seemed liked it was focused on exactly what our Center has been experiencing over the past year. I could definitely relate to the book he referenced, Who Moved My Cheese and the (mice) characters Hem and Haw, Scurry, and Sniffer.
Some tips Michael gave which I found helpful were if you are unsure of new tasks assigned to you, seek out allies that can help you. Find sources of strength. If you find some changes or tasks very difficult, try to sit down with your supervisor and let him/her know that you are struggling with them and what could possibly be done to make things easier for you to accomplish those tasks.
ME: What advice would you give to those in other departments that might be anticipating change?
JANE: Well, like I shared earlier, and like what Michael was saying; know the cheese is going to move and look for your sources of strength to help you with it. Also, don’t be afraid to have honest conversations with your supervisor about how you’re feeling.
ME: What do you think was your biggest take-away from his session?
JANE: The cheese will always be moving. But if you remember your values, mission and vision, you can make change be a positive experience in your life.
Many thanks to Jane for taking the time to share her thoughts with me.
What changes have you seen in your department? What is the hardest part of change for you? What steps have you taken to make change easier for yourself?