Odds of change are dismal - bad news for the rethink(ip) team?

Posted by J Matthew Buchanan at May 17, 2005 10:40 AM

This month’s issue of Fast Company magazine (a rethinker’s favorite) includes an excellent article on change.  It opens with a simple question — what if you really had to change?  I mean really change.  As in, your life depends on it.

FastCompany_May_05The odds, according to FC, are a dismal 9 to 1.  “That’s nine to one against you.”

Lot’s of facts and figures to back it up, too.  Apparently 90% of heart-bypass patients can’t change their lifestyles…despite the health (and vitality) risks presented by continuing with current behavior.

Wow.  Must be frustrating to be a cardiologist.

Are these odds bad news for us rethinkers?  After all, we have a lofty goal of changing the practice of intellectual property law.

Each of us knows that change is tough.  It’s not accomplished overnight and it’s usually somewhat painful.  But, with hard work and a continuous effort that always keeps an eye on the prize, it can be accomplished.  And when it does happen (or, more appropriately, when the ‘changers’ realize that it has occurred), it can be beautiful.  And powerful.

Yes, I said beautiful.  Think about it:  Tivo.  Minimally-invasive medicine.  The Simpsons.  Satellite radio.  iTunes.  Blogging.  Plastic.  Hybrid vehicles.  Camden Yards.

So, no, we don’t view the odds against change as bad news.  They are simply the scope of the challenge.  It’s a big one, we’ll admit that, but it’s not like we’re dealing with life and death decisions…

…are we?




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Douglas Sorocco Says:

May 17, 2005 12:33 PM

Interesting thoughts Matt - check out these posts from the Forthcoming blog on business models and rethinking them over time:

Part One

Part Two


Stephen M. Nipper Says:

May 17, 2005 12:57 PM

Holy crap! I was sitting there last night reading said Fast Company issue, this is great rethink(ip) fodder. Great minds think alike.

I left it at home or I'd add my comments right now.

For those of you reading this...FC is a GREAT magazine. Easily my favorite magazine. You should check it out too...

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