Culture change obstacle to newspapers
Media companies are dealing with a host of issues that go far beyond developing a new business model for the digital world. Front and center is how a media company can change an incumbent culture that continues to power their financial results. For some companies, the answer has been a draconian response while others have been more measured. Often the response is driven by debt or market issues where time is limited and change is forced because of external pressures.
“How companies deal with this challenge quite often goes to the heart of their value system,” said Gary Greene, Managing Director of Cribb, Greene & Associates. “We have seen companies struggle with the need to change, and change quickly, and still maintain their core values.” Rapid and broad change in an organization often runs counter with the implied contract that companies have had with their employees, especially with companies who value employee longevity. “Many of those companies have had to re-visit their value statement to make sure that the new direction they are heading does not change the essence of who they are as a company,” Greene added. “That value system is the rudder that guides them through good and bad times.”
Many companies have been very successful in transitioning, especially those who were not forced to react solely to financial and market pressures. Educating employees and providing training has been the key to most successful transitions. Still, there are employees who choose to not transition or find that they are not comfortable in new roles. Managing the cultural transformation, either by inflicting the change, or guiding it, is new territory for most media companies.
“Most companies realize that no matter how good their strategy is going forward, without the right cultural elements in place their chances for success will be greatly reduced,” Greene added. “It takes the right people, a strong strategic direction, and a culture in place that supports and encourages both, for companies to have the best opportunity for success.”