Charles Darwin said it best…….or did he?

Can video help you evolve as a leader?

evolution, man, darwin, computer, video

In a former life my world was much different. Leading a $350M global service company during the most difficult business period in the last 15 years posed many challenges. Everyone was fearful of change, any kind of change, especially the kind that would impact their livelihood. Fear is an amazing thing. Most people freeze. That’s not good when it’s critical that people are nimble and flexible. Businesses are screaming for innovation which at its core is change. The very thing people are fearful of.

Over 18 months taking to the road traveling to as many as twenty sites in the US, Canada and Europe. The message was clear but how was I going to get people to understand the message, trust it and act upon it.

The plan was to take a logical and easy to understand approach to redirect people’s thinking.

In the site meetings we would talk about all that was going on and collectively conclude that dynamic change was afoot.

The questions went as follows. Who in the room wants to be extinct in the work place? No one of course. Who wants to be disadvantaged? No one. Who wants to be advantaged? Every hand went up. I would remind everyone that they consciously displayed that they wanted to be advantaged.

Then I would ask, what was Charles Darwin famous for saying? A hand (or two) would go up and they would shout “Survival of the fittest”. Sorry, he didn’t say that. A contemporary of his named Herbert Spencer coined the phrase after reading Darwin’s book “The origin of species”.

What Darwin did say was that “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”.

In one statement he makes three:

  • Do not adapt to change and become extinct
  • Adapt slowly to change and be disadvantaged
  • Adapt quickly to change and be advantaged

The lesson here is that in order to be advantaged in this rapidly changing environment one must be willing, and able to change. Proactive change is the most effective since human beings don’t need to wait centuries to affect change that puts them in an advantaged position.


It’s your call. Which option do you choose? #1, #2, #3?

Unfortunately many people’s instincts lead them to choose #1 and #2. Choosing #3 has to be a conscious decision.

Significant change is occurring in every industry. It’s being fueled by a change in human behavior especially the way people learn. Nearly 50% of the US workforce is under the age of 40. These people have made it clear, long gone are the days of relying exclusively on instructor led learning. Instead, they are clamoring for something that complements their preferred learning style. They want quality content, fast and on their terms. They want video!

You want a better educated, higher functioning and more engaged work force.

So, if you are a “learning professional” and you want to avoid #1 and #2, get on board.


Here’s to the advantaged!



Pete Cronan is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks. He played college football at Boston College. He has been the color commentator on the Boston College radio broadcasts since 1988 and is currently the VP of Business Development for Videonitch.

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