by Cyndee Miller
Throughout its history, Los Angeles has picked up many a well-known nickname—La La Land, City of Angels, The Big Orange come to mind. But it might be time to add a new one to the list: Champion of Change.
Over the years, this city has proven it’s ready, willing and able to not just embrace change, but lead it. Just this year, the L.A. metro became the first mass transit system to adopt body-scan technology to screen passengers for explosive devices. The city has also stepped up as a leader in water diversification, laying out an ambitious goal to slash reliance on imported water in half by 2025. And my favorite example: P-22, the cougar who calls the Hollywood Hills home. A veritable celeb, he’s changing attitudes about how wildlife can cohabit with the local denizens.
This change-happy city makes the perfect backdrop for PMI Global Conference, where talk of change dominated. It all started with keynoter Jon Dorenbos, whose entire life has been a study in adapting to change.
The retired pro football player turned magician has faced unspeakable family tragedy, life-altering health conditions and an often-unpredictable career path. It’s a slate of challenges that, understandably, left him with a negative view of the world. “I blamed a lot of people when I wasn’t having success,” he said. “The more I blamed people around me, the more I lost myself, bit by bit, piece by piece.”
Eventually, he let the negativity go and revaluated who he was bringing into his inner circle. “You are who you surround yourself with,” Mr. Dorenbos says. “Surround yourself with people who you want to win more than you want to win.”
That new outlook brought him success beyond imagination, including a Super Bowl ring and a final-round finish on “America’s Got Talent.”
The secret, he says, is a willingness to embrace—and not become a victim of—change.
“The sooner we can come to grips with our reality, the sooner we can accept that change is not a bad thing,” he said. “It keeps us on our toes.”
No doubt words that resonate with the hardcore change makers, but how do you convince skeptical stakeholders of that?