The difficulty for media companies is not building the new, but escaping the old

EPIC 2015 participants ()

While technology is listed as one of the more obvious disruptors of our industry, for the participants from Honduras, Ecuador and Russia they put political and economic dynamics ahead of technology, as factors that have forced their market to change – such as the introduction of new laws forcing the advertising market to collapse.

Market transitions usually follow the same pattern: whereby a new technology disrupts the industry, after which follows a period of fermentation – with other players trying to replicate the disruptor. From this, dominant players will rise and a series of incremental innovations will emerge.

However, it is often the case that leading companies seldom master market transitions – as they are consumed by the success of their existing products and competencies that they fail to spot the transitions beginning to take shape around them.

In the media industry, many legacy companies have struggled as they have needed to innovate and find ways to make money, while still maintaining their traditional business. In many instances, the difficulty has not been about building the new businesses, but escaping the old. 

One aspect of this change is hiring the right talent that will take the company forward (and seek ways to keep them too) – and the right talent is not just about the staff in the middle and lower ranks, but senior management and leaders.

Leaders today need to have for key skills in order to be successful:

1) They need to be strategical – and figure out the unknown path ahead

2) They must be a creative hero who can foster creativity and build the product portfolio

3) Developing the inner geek – this new skill allows them to understand and decipher industry dynamics and use this insight to transform the products/organisation

4) Corporate steward – they need to be seen to be supporting corporate governance

EPIC is a week-long residential course that has been created by FIPP and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. During the course, the group will also look at adaptive leadership, quantum strategy and developing ways to foster innovation.

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