Monday, May 15, 2006

"Monitor the seven windows of innovative opportunity: the unexpected; the incongruity; process need; changes in industry structure or market structure; changes in demographic; changes in perception, mood and meaning; and new knowledge." Peter Drucker

Another great lesson taken from The Daily Drucker (Amazon info at right). He goes on to write...

"It is precisely because the unexpected jolts us out of our preconceived notions, our assumptions, our certainties, that it is such a fertile source of innovation. In no other area are innovative opportunities less risky and their pursuit less arduous. Yet the unexpected success is almost totally neglected; worse, managements tend to actively reject it. One reason why it is difficult for management to accept unexpected success is that all of us tend to believe that anything that has lasted a fair amount of time must be 'normal' and go on 'forever.'..Don't neglect or reject unexpected success. Identify it, absorb it, and learn from it."

My sense is we are each aware of someone who woke up on third believing they had hit a triple. In measured media, the soup of the day or flavor of the month represents one class of the unexpected success. The danger comes in practical application - the failure to "adsorb and learn" - that is, failing to do the homework, may cause one to act on hope alone, an enticement to simply copy...the goal to "travel" success. Conversely, investing in the homework pays excellent dividends. Three cases come to mind here. From history - Mother W's failed attempt to "travel" the great success of legendary talent Robert W. Morgan to Chicago. Secondly, the killer call by Emmis from the recent past. Emmis' keen study and understanding of the local market results in their decision to "travel" Johnny B from failure in LA to repeat success in Chicago where JB is beloved. CBS Radio's failure to do their homework, hiring Rover for Chicago when Johnny B was theirs to lose may turn out to be the biggest, and most avoidable, post-Stern blunder of all. Finally, Jack FM. The lure of some early on ratings successes combined with the allure of low operating costs baked into the format design again proved the herd instinct of measured media to be alive and well. Never underestimate the power of squeezing media management's paranoia gland. The fabled silver bullet delusion, hallucination, again trumps pragmatic, critical thinking.

A lot harder than it sounds dept:

Joe Mandese tells us that Mediamark Research, Inc (MRI) has pulled out of the radio ratings race, leaving two players - Arbitron and The Media Audit (in a jv with the EU firm Ipsos). I have a great deal of respect for The Media Audit but my money continues to ride with Arbitron. More later today.