Change or perish

Most major change inititiatives fail, or at best, create only lukewarm results. Viewing transformation as a process, and not an event, is essential in order to succeed, according to John Kotter.

In order to mobilise support for your suggestion that there is a need for change in your organisation, it is pivotal to create a sense of urgency. Unless you cannot trigger any gut feeling amongst your colleagues and organisation supporting that urgency, you’d be better off returning to your desk thinking up some ideas which may create that feeling of ‘we must get going’.

John Kotter, one of the change management gurus of our time (and featured in the video), claims that it is crucial to understand the generic stages of change that any major transformation initiative consists of.

You may also get an idea of John Kotter’s main message in an abstract of his previous book, ‘Leading Change’.

Change or perish

The journalists at The Spokesman-Review demonstrates a schoolbook example of a sense of urgency for change. Multimedia editor Colin Mulvanay of the paper is a brilliant storyteller and conveys the process of change as it is currently progressing in the newspaper.

First and foremost he highlights the overwhelming sensation of a need for sudden change felt by everyone in the company. In The Spokesman-Review this process involves all aspects of their business: how can the newsroom be run differently, what should be the future business model, how can journalists themselves redefine the way they carry out their work, etc. Read his enthusiastic blog post Change or perish, discussing how the editors and journalists have dealt with the challenges head-on.

Further reading

  • Check out Colin Mulvany and his experience based insight on online journalism, multimedia skills for journalists and the wonderful opportunities of change at his Mastering Multimedia blog
  • Learn more about John Kotter and his work at Harvard Business School’s brief biography on his work
  • If you are really eager, you may consider buying Kotter’s new book, A sense of urgency
Change or perish

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