the value of experience
Downsized I guess I shouldn’t be surprised
Two faced the time has come to be replaced
Betrayal, tiny minds
Something sinister’s going on behind
Before economic rationalism took a stranglehold on the global economy, and the labor market started becoming deregulated, there was a time that management experts did not write textbooks for dummies. In fact, although businesses were generally less efficient, they were inextricably linked to the overall well-being of a country’s economy, and the prosperity of its citizenry.
When up-, down-, right- and optimal-sizing became the vogue for business narrative, they came with their alter-ego of poorer service, lower quality goods, stakeholder marginalisation and shareholder intrusion. Somehow, balance was lost. In fact, much knowledge and equity in each individual was also lost.
The Media Business was not immune against this backdrop of free-market fundamentalism.
In fact, the corporatization of media has manifest itself as:
- Bland, formulaic content production. Safe investments in block-busters, special effects and ‘easy-listening’ radio stations. All under the seemingly prudent guise of giving the audience what it wants while preserving cash flow… what would have happened if the audience had been ‘trained’ differently by the media? Not possible? Then I guess you’re telling me that advertising and promotion don’t work (!)
- Ruthless focus on the bottom line. An essential factor in successful businesses. However, this has not only stifled self-motivated innovation, but has mortgaged the future to preserve the present cash-flow. What would have happened if the print media had actively embraced the web and truly found ways for people to pay? What would have happened if local TV stations didn’t ‘give away’ web advertising as part of a bundle in order to maintain broadcast margins? Not possible? Essential. By not actively engaging in change, that change has been thrust upon those very same businesses in a very ruthless fashion.
- Devaluing the core value proposition of media... Huh? Media is in the news and entertainment business. The medium is the message for dissemination of information, entertainment and experiential pathos, with clear deference to Marshall McLuhan. Moving away from this precept has affected the core equity of media, the medium is “not the message” when it comes to business.
So, where are the experienced executives leading us through this change? My guess is that many are securing their bonuses, before the next re-structure kicks-in. Till then status quo.
Tell me it isn’t so… I’m listening.