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Keep moving the cheese: change and growth are necessary to a healthy association.

Several years ago when I was a new Trustee on the ADAPt Board, my friend and then-President, Debra Von Alman, gave me a book entitled Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, MD. Doesn't sound like a very interesting book, does it? Needless to say; I put the book on a shelf and never thought about it again (sorry, Deb). Why did I need a self-help book to be on the ADAA board?

Recently, I ran across the book and decided to see what wisdom Dr. Johnson had to offer me. On one of my many plane rides across the country, I read it cover to cover. I found it very interesting and humorous, and wish I had read it sooner. I contemplated how I could apply the valuable information I had learned. Of course as always, my first thought was of the ADAA. As stated in the book, the writing was on the wall for me.

Change Happens

They keep moving the cheese. The more important something is to you, the more you want to hold onto it. However, everything changes. Association trends are changing. Economic changes are all around us. Our younger generation keeps changing.

Anticipate Change

Get ready for the cheese to move. As an association, we need to prepare ourselves for change. If we do not change, we will become extinct. We must adapt ourselves to the times. What would be possible if we weren't afraid of change?

Monitor Change

Smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old. We must listen to all of our membership--our active members, life members, student members, federal service members and E-members. We need to listen to our members and ADAAF corporate sponsors to expand and improve our association so it doesn't get stale. We need to create an association that stays current to today's needs for all dental assistants.

Adapt to Change Quickly

The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese. We must move quickly in order to grow our association. We must stop being afraid of change. Imagining a growing association will lead us to it.


Move with the cheese. We need to change by design, not by turmoil and imposition. The sooner we let go of the "what ifs?" and the "buts," the sooner we can enjoy a more successful association. It is safe to remain status quo, but where will our old beliefs lead us in the years to come?

Enjoy Change

Savor the adventure and enjoy the new cheese! Once we open our minds to change and the possibilities of change, we will enjoy a bigger better ADAA--one that all dental assistants can find value in.

Be Ready To Change Quickly and Enjoy it Again and Again

They keep moving the cheese. Change is constant. Change is inevitable. ADAA needs to be prepared to evolve with the changing times. If we don't have a seat at the table we are probably on the menu--and they just might be serving CHEESE!

Angela M. Swatts, CDA, EFDA

ADAA President, 2009-2010

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Title Annotation:President's Page
Author:Swatts, Angela M.
Publication:The Dental Assistant
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2010
Previous Article:Editor's desk.
Next Article:ADAA President Angela M. Swatts visits Sheppard Air Force Base: getting an inside look at Air Force base dental facilities and training programs.

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