Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Celebrating and Accelerating Change

When you are through changing, you are through.
Bruce Barton - advertising pioneer


The Wall Street Journal kicks off the year with its much buzzed-about redesign. The paper has been Slim-Fasted down to five columns from six, and will become more analysis oriented. The publisher concedes that news access being what it is, "...almost half of our news was available to readers the previous day, often online." The paper aims to have more exclusive stories and offers this goal:

We now aim to make 80% of your Journal what-it-means journalism, devoting the other 20% to ensuring that you haven't missed anything of importance from the previous day.

Meanwhile, the Journal seems to be taking the advice of BusinessWeek columnist and executive coach Marshall Goldsmith, who is kicking off a new series for the online Careers section. In his new book, What Got You Here Won't Get You There, Goldsmith outlines 20 habits that bug people and how to break them.

Guess what we have for habit #1? Clinging to the Past. An excerpt:

I refuse to attend any school that clings to the past--because going backward is not about creating change. It's about understanding. <...>

Understanding the past is perfectly admissible if your issue is accepting the past. But if your issue is changing the future, understanding won't take you there. My experience tells me that the only effective approach is looking people in the eye and saying, "If you want to change, do this."

All these great business minds and it all boils down to what Nike's been telling us for years: "Just do it!"



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