Management Articles


The Oz Factor: New Priorities for a Changing World

By: Thomas W. McKee

Thomas W. McKee is president of Advantage Point Systems, Inc., a staff development and change management firm. Thomas is an author, motivational speaker, trainer and leader. He has spoken to over 1/2 million people and taught the Advantage Point System method of change management to over 100,000 managers in companies like Hewlett Packard, Ernst and Young, Procter and Gamble, the California Department of General Services, and the IRS. ; For information about the Advantage Point System of managing change see

"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!"

The Wizard of Oz is one of America's most enduring and popular films. It is a film based on personal dreams for a better future amidst harsh realities and dramatic changes. As we look at the modern world around us, we can identify with Dorothy when she says to her dog, "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore." New technologies, new attitudes and new agendas are constantly emerging, forcing us to live in a world of unremitting change.

Take the case of Sergei Krikalev, the Russian Cosmonaut. He departed from the Soviet Union on a space mission in February of 1992, only to return to the Commonwealth of Independent States in 1993. He left his hometown in Leningrad, with Gorbachev as head of the Communist party. When he returned, it was to St. Petersburg, under the control of Boris Yeltsin, and Gorbachev was now a capitalist, signing million dollar book deals.

Like Dorothy, Sergei Krikalev took off from a well established location, only to land in a whole new world. When he landed back on earth in February of 1992, the old Soviet Union had come apart at the seams. The Communist party had lost its power and Krikalev's five hundred-rubles-a-month salary couldn't even purchase a pair of scissors to cut the USSR insignia off his tattered uniform. In less than a year, and without warning, while Sergei Krikalev circled the earth, a new era began.

Throughout the world, new eras have burst upon us. With today's society so vastly different from the recent past, we can identify with Dorothy when she said "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore." New technologies, new attitudes, new groups emerging on our society, force us into a world of constant change. How do we cope?

Facing Change

How do you face change?

Your answer to this simple question is the most significant ingredient in determining how successful you will be in the future. Businesses capable of changing and adapting to new situations are growing; those which are resistant to change are headed for extinction. That doesn't mean change isn't a fearful thing. It is. But the reality of change does not have to be threatening. It can be the basis for new business and growth. Sales professionals recognize change as a friend and are prepared to be leaders in the midst of change.

© 1998 Advantage Point Systems Inc.

Other Articles by Thomas W. McKee

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. ManagerWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. ManagerWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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