Provoking necessary conversations

Fortune magazine declares the Jack Welch management playbook dead.

I hear ya – “Ahh come’on Jeff – they’re just trying to sell magazines”.

Uh huh.

But look closer.

Fortune magazine is not outside the circumstances it reports on. It is one of MANY “properties” in a larger company’s “portfolio” of “assets” and yet there it is… speaking against the predominant business philosophy not only of OTHER companies – but of their own company as well!

Fortune’s target audience is largely business executives who by and large are presently, and for nearly 2 decades have subscribed to the very ideas about business management the magazine is now debunking.

“Is an emphasis on market share really the prime directive? Is a company’s near-term stock price – and the quarterly earnings per share that drive it – really the best measure of a CEO’s success? In what ways is managing a company to please Wall Street bad for competitiveness in the long run?”

Which inspires me to ask – How is the Radio Playbook looking?

Written around the same time Welsh took over G.E. it has dominated our thinking ever since. The media universe has undergone no less change and upheaval than the businesses G.E is engaged in.  So . . .  Do all the old radio rules still apply?

Do we engage in the necessary (in my view) questioning of the very foundational beliefs we have about the performance of radio and it’s business? Not just the little risk free private chats we all have – but publicly – out in the open.

I do see some of that happening.

Clear Channel’s foray into finding another ratings solution , and their “less is more” efforts certainly break with old conditioned behaviors and patterns.

Both have met with skepticism – but that’s an essential part of any fundamental change. As Mark Cuban wrote – “Criticism is easy to avoid“. Just do nothing.

Give the article a read – if not for the specifics the article addresses about management philosophy – than for the genuine interest the authors have in igniting conversation and debate about the the bedrock assumptions it’s readers have taken as gospel.

I admire the effort because it attempts to step out ahead of the prevailing views and seeks to guide it’s readers into new territory. A lot like good radio.


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