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Change management for Cowboys

February 28, 2015

Ex-husbandsIn a past life, I was a partner in an independent record label. My two partners and I put out 9 “rekkids” between 1996 and 2000, including 2 by a rockin’ trio called the Ex-Husbands. Brilliant band name and 3 excellent musicians, Anders Thomsen, Mark Miller, and Michael Howard Smith could play everything from heavy metal to punk, but on their to Tar Hut Records releases, they played “Raw, stripped-down country.” I was reminded of the boys recently when I listened to (Work)Joyce interview Jim Thompson, chief financial officer at Cavender’s, a family-owned and operated western wear and cowboy boot retailer with more than 70 locations across the United States. It reminded me of a visit to Robert’s Western World in Nashville during the Tar Hut years. A cool old venue that featured cowboy boots and live music to get them dancing.

The podcast focused on how Mr. Thompson (no relation to Anders) and Cavender’s employed change management techniques to successfully roll-out Kronos time and attendance, forecasting and scheduling across 56 locations. The subject of how difficult change can be reminded me of an Ex-Husbands song, “Ain’t You Been a Cowboy for too Long?” It tells the story of a cowboy growing older as his way of life disappears:

All those women that you loved have settled down,
And married men with steady jobs in town.
They don’t want no cowboy’s comin’ ‘round.
Like the coyote and the catamount,
You’re forced to beg or driven out.
Don’t them fences make it hard to roam?
Like everything that’s wild and free,
You’re loved and feared and not let be.
Ain’t You been a cowboy for too long?

Change can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re implementing Kronos, upgrading, or expanding your solution, the Workforce Institute podcast with Mr. Thompson of Cavender’s is worth a listen.

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