Friday, July 8, 2011

Four Tips For Learning To Change

By Thom S. Rainer

Last month in the book-publishing world, something fascinating happened. The billionaire author J.K. Rowling launched a new site selling her popular books directly to customers, and also provided a social network centered on reading the books. She retained all the digital rights to her books, so she is now essentially a self-published author in the digital world.

As the leader of one of the largest Christian resource companies in the world, I certainly took note of this development. Our organization has been around since 1891, and the core of what we have done for 120 years is publishing in the print world. To say our world is changing would be a huge understatement.

The advent of digital products is certainly a challenge for print publishers. Not only is the delivery system changing, but also authors like J.K. Rowling no longer need the middle person commonly called the publisher. Like the radical transformation of the recording industry, the book-publishing world is being challenged at its very core.

I have written and spoken on the issue of change numerous times. But my perspective has always been that of the change agent, or helping individuals and organizations deal with change that has affected them. Now my perspective is different. I am on the receiving end of change. And the change is so radical and transformative that I am learning new lessons on this issue with a whole new perspective.

So, how do individuals and organizations respond to change? Particularly, how do we respond to change that is inevitable and substantial? My response has thus far involved four progressive phases.

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Until next time...share the journey and enjoy the ride!

Pat