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New guide in series from Olin Business School promotes CEO videos as tool for strategic change


Imagine telling your boss that the plan to re-organize your department is wrong-headed via a secured anonymous e-mail and he responds to your concern in a video message delivered to everyone in the company. Fiction? No, it’s called “ChangeCasting” and a new approach to leading organizational change outlined in a book by professor Jackson Nickerson, the first in a series from the Brookings Institution Press and Olin which offers practical solutions and strategies for today’s managers.

In this era of YouTube, Skype, iChat and v-casts, video is everywhere. And Jackson Nickerson, PhD, the Frahm Family Professor of Organization and Strategy at Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School, says CEOs and managers can harness the power of video to lead and accelerate change within their businesses.

Leading Change in a Web 2.1 World introduces a web-based approach to communication that Nickerson calls “ChangeCasting.” It opens up a two-way street, linking the corner office and employees at every level of a company via frequent and focused brief video messages from the CEO and secured anonymous e-mail feedback from employees.

“Business strategies used to last upward of a decade,” Nickerson says. “Now, it’s not unusual to see changes in business strategy every two or three years.

“Communicating the need for change requires leaders who can build trust and create understanding within their organization. Using the latest technology with the principles and process of ChangeCasting facilitates the exchange of ideas that is necessary for strategic change,” he says.

Several major corporations have successfully integrated ChangeCasting into their management process. In his book, Nickerson discusses these examples, why leading change is difficult and how web-based tools are efficient and effective for leaders and organizations open to change.

Leading Change in a Web 2.1 World is a practical “how-to and know-why” guide, according to its author. It is written for busy managers to read on a two-hour flight who want to hit the ground running and apply the practical concepts in the workplace immediately. Nickerson says ChangeCasting works for companies of all sizes, public or private, and can be used by managers at various levels.

Leading Change in a Web 2.1 World is the first book in the series Innovations in Leadership from the Brookings Institution and distinguished business faculty at the Olin Business School. Future titles will cover topics such as negotiation, repairing trust and critical and creative thinking. Each volume will be concise, accessible, action-oriented and focused on current leadership challenges and research-based solutions.

Nickerson is a Brookings nonresident senior fellow in governance studies and director of Brookings Executive Education. He also is editor of Brookings Press’ new Innovations in Leadership Series.

About Olin Business School:
Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis is an institution of leaders: distinguished business faculty... exhilarated, brilliant students... and successful, energized alumni. Our 12 business degree and nondegree programs emphasize rigorously analytical, critical-thinking skills; applied learning; global competence; and communication and collaboration skills -- advancing today’s business world and tomorrow’s global leaders. Learn more about Olin Business School on the Web at:

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