Thursday, July 3, 2014

National Speakers Association Change

National Speakers Association changed name to "Platform": How did people react to the change?

Massive changes have been happening in the world of professional speaking. The National Speakers Association announced a rebranding initiative to call itself simply: Platform. Not since Prince rebranded himself with that weird symbol and forced everyone to refer to him as "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince" has there been such a drastic name change. This caused a variety of reactions among NSA members. Some embraced the change, while others weren’t so sure.

The roll-out of the new brand had mixed responses. The purpose of this article isn’t to endorse or deny the validity of the new brand, but rather to examine change. The most fascinating aspect of this branding change is in the reaction to it by the members. Some of us are naturally more embracing of or resistant to change.

Discovery Learning has done research which identifies three change style types: the conservor, the pragmatist and the originator.
  • The conservor tends to resist change. They prefer gradual change and will ask the hard questions.
  • The pragmatist is open to change, but wants to understand the reasons and details.
  • Finally, the originator thrives on quick changes, while enjoying risk and uncertainty. There isn’t a right or wrong reaction to change.

Each change style brings something to the table. We need the conservors to keep us from being reckless and impulsive. We need the pragmatists to mediate between the conservors and originators, while managing the details. Finally, we need the originators to propel organizations forward so that they don’t stagnate. 

Change is exciting. Change is scary. Change is disruptive. It's here to stay so we have to find a way to make it work. Yet we need to have an honest conversation. When going through change, remember that each of us handles it differently. Respect that. Encourage honest dialogue, while understanding the given circumstances.

***Update***NSA rolled back the rebrand for a variety of reasons. Stay tuned for another blog post about lessons learned from the kerfuffle.


Top motivational speakers Tim and Kris O'Shea help organizations deal with change through relevant business humor. To learn more about these guest speakers visit or call 303-371-2849. Copyright 2014 Tim and Kris O'Shea.

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