I talk about transformation a lot. Probably too much. But when one is developing a business focused preparing people for the future – and moving from traditional publishing into new media to do so – there’s a lot of change required. I started thinking about transformation when I was directing the Encyclopedia of Leadership. James MacGregor Burns, the senior editor, is famous for distinguishing between transitional leadership and transformational leadership.
I spent most of the holiday week at home with my children, seeing a few friends and working on plans for 2008 and beyond. I found myself thinking about transformation as I wrote about what we need to do with Berkshire’s reference program and the phrase “sea change” came to mind as I described what I felt needed to happen—for us and in the whole area of publishing described as “reference.” Remembering an article I read years ago about the misuse of sea change, I decided to find out exactly what it means and whether it is really the right way to describe the transformation of encyclopedias to something new. Simple, you might think, even when one is experimenting with different search engines out of a desire to not to be part of Google Nation. Answering questions like this is what the Web makes so easy.
– great change: a substantial transformation
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- A change caused by the sea: “Of his bones are coral made:/Those are pearls that were his eyes:/Nothing of him that doth fade,/But doth suffer a sea change” (Shakespeare).
- A marked transformation: “The script suffered considerable sea changes, particularly in structure” (Harold Pinter).
What I wanted, though, was an essay about the idea I read long ago in the Literary Review, a wonderful
One thing the Web undoubtedly makes easy – and blissfully so – is instant communication and instant publishing. I have finished this post on the train from
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