Changing How You Think About Change

By Bob Wagner, Corporate Public Relations, Xerox

I frequently look to our industry’s leaders for knowledge and inspiration—and that includes peering right into my own backyard.  This was the case recently when I sat in on a presentation titled, “Mastering the Game of Change,” by Kevin Warren, the president of Xerox’s $3 billion United States Client Operations, whose talk focused on business transformation.

While not everybody will admit to it, most of us fear change.  Hey, change isn’t easy—but most of us have learned it’s necessary for survival in today’s fast-paced world.Changing How You Think About Change

Consider that the average tenure of companies on the S&P 500 has dropped from 61 years in 1958, to 25 years in 1980, and just 18 years today.  The takeaway: change is happening at an ever-faster pace, and companies that don’t adapt and transform fade away.

That’s the message that Kevin delivered to 1,100 attendees of the CenterState CEO Annual Meeting in Syracuse.  He talked about the need to stay nimble to stay ahead of the change curve, the need to re-frame change to see it as an opportunity, and the need to think and do things differently in order to sustain positive change.

This made for an especially compelling message here in upstate New York, where cities like Syracuse and Rochester(where I live and work) fight to remain vibrant as their traditional manufacturing bases have decreased.  As Kevin pointed out, Xerox is a great example of one upstate-borne company that has undergone significant transformations to maintain industry leadership positions over the years.

Long known popularly as “the copier company,” we shifted our emphasis to digital printing in the 1990s, and added business process and I.T. outsourcing services in the most recent decade.  Last year, for the first time, our revenues from services were greater than those from our heritage printing business.  And today, as Kevin explained, Xerox can be found in lots of unexpected places—such as managing red-light cameras on traffic signals and the E-ZPass toll collection program used on many the nation’s thruways and turnpikes.

You can learn more about mastering the game of change by checking out Kevin’s presentation.  It might just change the way you think about change.


Bob is head of global communications for Xerox’s Technology business and, as a long-time New York Yankees fan, he’s become quite accustomed to change.

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