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“He not busy being born is busy dying.”

So says Bob Dylan.

And it serves as a reminder – as we close out one year and open a new one – that change – evolution – is most likely to happen in times of environmental stress. Just like the time the radio industry is experiencing now. And openness to that change – the eagerness to face it and experiment and adapt – is the key ingredient to survival and the only way to thrive in a volatile future.

If your company’s plan is to stick around for as long as it has been around, then there is no other way to go. As one great business thinker noted, “The most important mandate for a manager in a dynamic company is to instigate change.”

Not tolerate it, not deny it, not run from it.

Instigate it.

There’s an insect that has evolved the ability to shed its legs and grow new ones after contacting plants touched with pesticides. It’s a talent that emerged just since the 1940’s, when pesticides came into wide use. In a short time window, and as a result of terrific stress, adaptation happened – because that change was possible and because biological systems don’t fear it.

Indeed, they – we – have the capacity to instigate it.

So here’s my wish for you in 2008:

Instigate change.

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