He opened the discussion talking about the fall of Kodak. What went wrong? They weren’t driving change. There were ideas there that could have transformed Kodak, but they went unexplored. And that became the theme of today’s talk: being an agent for change within your company.
Hayzlett talked about something he did when he called his first meeting at Kodak: he moved the dial ahead on the clock 20 minutes. He found this would spark heated conversation about the clock – is it broken? Who should fix it? And this happened every meeting thereafter.
One day, during one of these conversations about how the clock needed to be fixed, one of his team members walked up to the clock, pulled up a chair, and changed the clock to the right time. He gave that team member a key role on his team.
Businesses need clock changers. People who are change agents. People who don’t mind making mistakes in order to offer solutions, instead of just complaining about problems.
Hayzlett then discussed five reasons businesses fail:
Hayzlett challenged the audience to ask tough questions of themselves:
Hayzlett said in order to get it right in business, we have to stand for something as brands and companies online and offline. Taking us back to the concept of creating tension, Hayzlett challenged the audience not to settle. This is an agent of change.
Try something different that still represents your brand, he said. Hayzlett talked about how he challenged the status quo in creating business books. Business books have a particular format, he said. They tend to be 10 chapters, 50,000 words.
He wanted to make it more engaging by creating “page turners”: 35 chapters that still added up to 50,000 words, short headlines and the integration of social elements. His book became a best seller.
It’s very hard to change culture, said Hayzlett. It’s something that is built over many, many years. But you can change “mood” – how does your team, your department feel?
A final thought: You should never be scared about being an agent of change, said Hayzlett, if you’re in good company. Embrace the connections you have, talk about ideas for change and make the most of the opportunities that are ahead of you.
This article was originally published on Search Engine Watch.
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Jessica Lee is a marketer specializing in web content strategy and B2B/B2C writing. Since 2005, Jessica has been in the business of content and communications, with the past several years focused on the web marketing space.
Prior to launching her consulting business, bizbuzzcontent, Jessica was responsible for content strategy, development and marketing for Bruce Clay Inc. – a global SEO firm, where she served small businesses and Fortune 500 clients. Jessica's background also includes positions in traditional marketing, communications, broadcasting and publishing.
Jessica has a bachelor's in communications and public relations from San Diego State University. She also contributed to the book “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies” 2nd edition.
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