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January 12, 2007

News & Opinion: Change or Die. (Wait, what?!)

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 6:56 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Do you remember this cover story in Fast Company magazine?
Change or Die

Well, Alan Deutschmann has developed it into an entire book. Change or Die. It has a striking cover with those words in bold, formidable typeface. Statistics say that given the opportunity, challenge, incentive, or warning, even if we know that change is best, we won't do it. Whether it's changing our diet or changing our business practices.
Deutschmann refuses to throw his hands up in surrender, though, and offers three keys to change (which he calls the three "R"s): Relate, Repeat, and Reframe.
Change or die.
What if you were given that choice? For real. What if it weren't just the hyperbolic rhetoric that conflates corporate performance with life or death? Not the overblown exhortations of a rabid boss, or a maniacal coach, or a slick motivational speaker, or a self-dramatizing chief executive officer or political leader. We're talking actual life and death now. Your own life and death. What if a well-informed, trusted authority figure said you had to make difficult and enduring changes in the way you think, feel, and act? If you didn't, your time would end soon--a lot sooner than it had to. Could you change when change really mattered? When it mattered most?
Yes, you say?
Try again.
Yes?
You're probably deluding yourself.
That's what the experts say.
They say that you wouldn't change.
Don't believe it? You want odds? Here are the odds that the experts are laying down, their scientifically studied odds: nine to one. That's nine to one against you. How do you like those odds?

Read on for more. He describes the three "R"s and sets up a compelling story.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.