White blood cells

Trailhead: My Bottom Line: David Jones, Havas, BBC (2021-03-23)

I think if our industry changes then it has the most amazing opportunity, but if it doesn't it will go the same way as the Polaroids and Kodaks. And I think today it's increasingly a disadvantage to have had a bigger legacy business, and I think the speed with which we turn our businesses into fully digital businesses is going to be the key thing that determines whether our industry is successful or has a tough time ahead of it.

I don't really think of things like that. "If we don't change, then we'll be dead". That's foreign to me—because it's sort of built in as an assumption in the model of my brain. There's no strategy to it. There's no thought. It's just there. Of course things have to change. That's the wave that I ride. (That's how I perceive myself—as riding some wave—but the reality is probably a lot more staid.)

I don't care much about the advertising industry that this statement is referring to. We covered it in a case in OB 565 Leading Change today: Havas: Change Faster, Multimedia Case. I care about it as much as it is an interesting window through which to see what it looks like when A CEO tries to head off future disruption of a well-established company by evangelizing change. That part is interesting. And so is seeing how the white blood cells of a well-established company kill the change.

There's nothing mean-spirited about killing change. Rule #1 of an organism is: survive. That which threatens you is trying to kill you. Of course that's not objectively true, but tell that to your amygdala.

I don't know. I'm a white blood cell and a pathogen. I change things because it's natural to me and I resist change because I am a part of an organism.

A line from Fight Club that I always fall back on: "Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart."

Or: "How everything you ever love will reject you or die. Everything you ever create will be thrown away. Everything you're proud of will end up as trash."

I think it comes across as a negative outlook. But there is something... lighter about it. You can see a thing as it is, as it will be, as it was, as you would like it to be. How it will be and how you would like it to be will diverge—always. You might be able to affect a thing in a positive way, but there will be something missing, something chipped, something faded. That's OK. That's what it is to be alive. The burden is lighter when you accept it, and do what you can.

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