Change: Voiceover Lessons from Sam Walton

To succeed in this world, you have to change all the time. – Sam Walton P. 324

Constant change is a vital part of the Wal-Mart culture itself. I’ve forced change – sometimes for change’s sake alone – at every turn in our company’s development. In fact, I think one of the greatest strengths of Wal-mart’s ingrained culture is its ability to drop everything and turn on a dime. – Sam Walton P. 216

In the past couple weeks, there has been some discussion on “change” in a couple Voice over blogs.

It seems to me, that the only constant IS change. We should get used to it.

I read a great book by terrific artist Danny Gregory, called The Creative License. He says it this way:

“Birds Sing, wolves howl, crickets chirp. But why? Money? Fame? Record Contracts? Endorsements? What’s it all for? THEY DO IT BECAUSE THEY ARE ALIVE! They do it because life is about making things. Making babies, nests, new cells, dinner, dandruff, excrement…our bodies are always turning one thing into another.”

I believe that if things aren’t in motion, and change isn’t happening, we are dying.

I’ve never been a big fan of “we’ve always done it this way”. I even had buttons that had that particular phrase on them with a big red circle and slash thru it. (I wore one when I was programming a radio station in Savannah, Georgia. It seemed to be everyone’s favorite phrase when I got to town. The station was near the bottom of the pack. HMM. Go figure.)

Back to the VoiceOver business. No, its not the same as it once was. And it never will be exactly how it once was.

(I really wasn’t a part of it “as it once was” but have heard several stories about the golden days)(this too also reminds me of radio)

We have to change and adapt to how the industry works now. If we don’t, we’re out of the game.

At Walmart, Sam Walton would go into competing retail stores and come back to his company with a yellow pad of new ideas that he had “borrowed” to implement for HIS company. To make them a better company, to be more competitive.

That also is a good point. Perhaps change for “change sake” isn’t the best deal. But if you are changing to stay competitive and better yourself, we should be all for it. Not resistant to it.

How do you deal with change when it happens?

Quotes are from Sam Walton Made in America by Sam Walton and John Huey, Bantam Books 1993

and The Creative License by Danny Gregory

Do you have a book that I might like to read? If it pertains to the world of Voice Over, Creativity, Leadership or Marketing, I would gladly read and discuss it on the Creative Mouthpiece blog! Email me at stu (at) stugray (dot) com


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