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Don’t be left behind in times of Change

We all know that change is nothing new.

Yet everytime it raises its head we find people and organisations either hide in the sand or get creative, meet it head on and use it to their advantage.

An example of this is back to 1927 and Hollywood, when great change came upon the industry and its stars. The advent of sound in movies. No longer silent movies the “talking pictures” had arrived. For many in the industry it was an unsurmountable challenge. Stars like Charlie Chaplin refused to have his character speak and he was left behind. He couldn’t or wouldn’t make the transition from Silent to Sound. He couldn’t or wouldn’t change.
However in 1928 just one year later a small mouse made its debut in the first talking cartoon the world had seen (and heard) “Steam Boat Willie” it amazed the movie industry and audiences alike. With Steam Boat Willie – Walt Disney had seen an opportunity and grasped it. He saw the change in the industry and changed with it.

Disney had a knack for sensing change, getting creative and turning it to his advantage.

In the 1950’s another change rocked Hollywood -Television. Once again Disney was there ready to take advantage of the change, see it as an opportunity. Some resisted the change saying it would destroy the movie industry, why watch movies when you could see shows in your own home?
But Disney like many of the extraordinary people through history saw the opportunity.

Thinking differently to everyone else he had an creative idea.

He wanted to create “Disneyland” and needed the finances to get it established- he saw TV as the fundraiser and a promotional tool for his new project. He agreed a deal with a major network, then provided an exclusive weekly show called “Disneyland” and got the funding he needed. At the same time viewers all over USA tuned in to watch and he would show them snippets of the park being built. This built excitment and anticipation in his growing market of potential guests.

You can see in the above story that the changes in Hollywood some survived, others didn’t, those who saw the change as an opportunity, got creative and took control.

The questions to ask are:
How do we deal with change? Do we hide or do we reinvent ourselves?
Do we have the skills to be creative?
Do we have the ability to focus on the opportunities not the dangers?
Do we resist change, prefering the good old days, or do we embrace change with a positive “can do” attitude?

It is the creative companies, the ones where people are empowered to be creative that are best placed to deal with change, to see the opportunities the change brings and maintain their competitive edge.

Now more than ever, as we head into 2013, is the time to start thinking creatively and have creativity flowing in your organisation and its people. It is more than just a culture statement on your website, it is visable, palpable when you walk into your premises or meet your people.
Creativity is not just a fantastic insurance policy against change- but a huge driver to maximise from it.

We can provide tools for improved Creativity in your organisation if you are interested in finding out more contact us on

Sources: The man behind the magic, the story of Walt Disney – Katherine and Richard Greene, Viking 1991.