This List Will Blow Your Mind

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Change. There’s a whole generation of remodelers (and doctors and lawyers ... and, yes, editors too) who fight it at every turn. I’m going to share something with you that has helped me adjust my thinking over many years of rapid change in the journalism profession.

September 01, 2008

Michael. R. Morris
Editor in Chief

Change. There’s a whole generation of remodelers (and doctors and lawyers ... and, yes, editors too) who fight it at every turn. But instead of climbing up on my soapbox and preaching that you should get on board with the concept of change, I’m going to share something with you that has helped me adjust my thinking over many years of rapid change in the journalism profession.

It’s called the Mindset List. Every August since 1998, two professors at Beloit College in Wisconsin put together a list of cultural statements that can be made about the students entering college that year. For me as a business journalist, it’s a reminder of the constantly changing frame of reference that my audience and their customers are undergoing.

Here is a sample of this year’s list (the entire list can be found at www.beloit.edu/mindset/):

  • GPS systems have always been available.
  • Coke and Pepsi have always used recycled plastic bottles.
  • Shampoo and conditioner have always been available in the same bottle.
  • Electronic filing of tax returns has always been an option.
  • The Warsaw Pact is as hazy for them as the League of Nations was for their parents.
  • Employers have always been able to do credit checks on employees.
  • Clarence Thomas has always sat on the Supreme Court.
  • IBM has never made typewriters.
  • They have never been able to color a tree using a raw umber Crayola.
  • There has always been Pearl Jam.
  • “The Tonight Show” has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.
  • They may have been given a Nintendo Game Boy to play with in the crib.
  • Macaulay Culkin has always been “Home Alone.”
  • Caller ID has always been available on phones.
  • They never heard an attendant ask, “Want me to check under the hood?”
  • Iced tea has always come in cans and bottles.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope has always been eavesdropping on the heavens.
  • And Sammy Davis Jr., Jim Henson and Stevie Ray Vaughan have always been dead.

So take a look at the complete list online (it won’t hurt!) and reconsider the times. It just may help you cope, as it has me, with these changing times and their impact on your business.

Contact me at michael.morris@reedbusiness.com or 630/288-8057

Read my blog at www.ProRemodeler.com/blogs

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