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- 11.30.2012 | Listening: Critical Factor in CCO-CEO Connection
- 11.01.2012 | Listening: Where Corporate Communication Starts
- 10.03.2012 | Watching Debates? Think LC and the Troublesome Past
- 10.02.2012 | Change — the one key word in your future corporate
- 09.24.2012 | Vision: Perceiving the Train in the Mist
- 09.17.2012 | Is the CCO the Conscientious Compliance Counselor?
- 09.14.2012 | Where is the Old-Fashioned, Tough Copy Editor?
- 09.03.2012 | Beyond Followers: Scaling up to Stakeholder Advocacy
- 08.16.2012 | Volunteering in the Constant Conversation
(J&J August 2012)
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- 07.14.2012 | EKE: Everybody Knows Everything, Eventually
- 07.09.2012 | Leadership is Local
- 07.06.2012 | Using Pride to Prod Corporate Change
- 06.09.2012 | Communication Without 'Gatekeepers'
- 05.28.2012 | 'Public Relations'? 'Communications'? Shall We Straddle?
- 05.18.2012 | The Shattered Dome of Silence
- 04.21.2012 | CCO Role in Transformation Innovation?
- 03.13.2012 | Ready for this? Is it real — or is it P.R.?
- 03.01.2012 | What Do CEOs Admire? — Jeffrey Immelt, GE,
on CSR and Ecomagination
- 03.01.2012 | What Do CEOs Admire? — Ursula Burns, CEO, Xerox,
on being a good corporate citizen
- 03.01.2012 | What Do CEOs Admire? — John Donahoe, CEO, eBay,
on sustainable performance and social accountabilty
- 02.13.2012 | Can You Talk Your Boss Out of Pre-Crisis Decision?
- 02.02.2012 | Risk Perception: Communicator's Role?
- 01.10.2012 | BP Crisis 2010: Update 2012, "BP Makes Amends"
- 01.02.2012 | My Happy New Year Silent Spring Story
Change — the one key word in your future corporate job Inbox
October 2, 2012
For the student in business-related studies: So you want a job in corporate communications? What's that going to be like?
Let's start with a little instructive history. This is from a column by Geoff Colvin in Fortune magazine in 2006, and it's worth reading now, six years later, because it underscores what amounts to an eternal truth in corporate behavior and leadership: It's all about change and transformative leadership. It's something for you to think about as you analyze the companies in your teams. Here is the quote I cut from Colvin's column:
"Time was when a company could turn the crank on a good business model for decades; think of Kodak, Sears, Xerox, or any other icon of 20th-century commerce. No more. Former Xerox CEO Paul Allaire spoke for millions of managers in 2000 when he famously told a conference call of Wall Street analysts: 'We have an unsustainable business model.'
"That's a sentence every CEO should put on a laminated card and carry in his pocket. In an information-based economy, untethered to physical assets, business models can and will change continually. Yet for most companies, changing them is almost unbearably difficult — think again of Kodak, Sears, and Xerox.
"Arguably the champ at adaptation is Intel. Its recent shift away from PC chips is at least its fifth major change in business model. Those kinds of changes terrify most executives, but if Intel hadn't made them, CEO Paul Otellini would today be in one of our 10 toughest jobs — or more likely, the company would be dead "
End of excerpt. If you can find it, read the whole thing.
Our point now, here at Georgetown, in a class on leadership communication, as potential communicators in a potential future corporate job, is that not only to expect change but also, and this is important to your personal and professional health, to try to hook up with a leadership that is expecting and is driving change. Thank transformational leadership communication. Be with the one sustainable business idea (and deliver sustainable communication guidance to support it), and that is a business that is anticipating and adapting to take advantage of that one key word, that inevitability that gives you opportunity as well as pain: Change.
E. Bruce Harrison, October 2, 2012
Bruce Harrison is an adjunct professor in the master's program at
Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He and Judith Muhlberger teach
courses in leadership communications and corporate crisis communications.
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