Last fall Dawn, a senior partner in a local engineering firm, was hospitalized after she suffered a serious heart attack. Fortunately, she survived but had to undergo coronary surgery and extended medical leave. Her fellow staff members were quite shaken over her brush with death, and discussed it openly during her absence from the office.
One observation that was made during these discussions was the fact that the staff tended to “overindulge” – the office was always filled with candies and treats. The upshot of these conversations was a decision among staff members to adopt an office diet that would be healthier for both staff and guests. To develop this new policy they turned to Dan, who recommended they use the program that reflected the strategy used by Weight Watchers. He agreed to put together a list of items for them to consider.
However, he made them understand that the program he was currently using was more than just a list of foods; it comprised an entire strategy and policy designed to develop a new attitude towards food consumption and discipline. Just knowing what and what not to put out to eat wasn’t enough. He informed them that those interested could take advantage of some Groupon scurrently available in order to join Weight Watchers at a significantly reduced rate. That was a choice each staff member could make on their own. For the staff as Dan agreed to provide the staff with a list of some of the more popular and effective recipes that were offered in the Weight Watchers program.
Dan also brought in a list of recommended items for snacks and “in-between” eating. Soon the bowl of sugary candies that long sat in the waiting room was replaced by a large platter of grains, nuts and fresh fruit. Those who liked to have regular “munchies” would have pistachios, nuts, or crackers instead of traditional salty items. And the carbonated beverage dispenser in the break room was replaced by one providing 100% bottled water and juices in various flavors.
Surprisingly, there was little objection these changes. Indeed, many voiced pleasure over the new atmosphere in the office. However, Dawn was disappointed when she returned from her extended leave of absence. Surprised over the changes that had taken place, she complained about how her one chance to make a major change in the firm’s overall direction had been pre-empted by fellow staff members. Then they all drank a toast to her good health with a refreshing drink of water!