Thursday, September 07, 2006

"Persistence or tenacity is the disposition to persevere in spite of difficulties, discouragement, or indifference. Don't be known as a good starter but a poor finisher!" William Swanson

From Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management: unwritten rule number 9...

"There is often a wonderful excitement when starting something new. It is important to maintain that passion throughout the course of an assignment, especially when difficulties arise or the project encounters negative thinkers or those who lack the commitment to persevere.

We all want to get new projects off to a strong start, but it is equally important to stay engaged throughout the process - to push the project forward when necessary, especially as it nears the finish line. Good process will help immeasurably, but so will your passion to see the project to fruition.

For me, and for many managers, the red flag word is 'never.' Don't say you'll 'never' be able to overcome the obstacles - unless you have truly analyzed each obstacle and demonstrated in a fact-based way that they are truly insurmountable. 'Never' is the ultimate challenge to me."

More wise counsel from Bill Swanson. During an off-site yesterday the expectation, the goal, was to develop practical strategies to ensure a double digit increase in 2007 operating income (ebitda). At the lunch break a couple of folks new to the planning process took me aside. Their take on the morning session...we would "never" reach the 2007 targets by just getting better at what we were already doing. They viewed the "continuous improvement initiative" as a serious distraction, dedicating precious resources to achievement of small, unsustainable gains. By contrast, the afternoon session was very productive - we changed the pov. From a focus on activity to a focus on results.

Two in a row: Katie Couric & Co score a second night first. Evening posted a 7.0 rating/14 share leading World's 5.3/10 and Nightly's 4.9/10. Congrats to Katie and CBS.

Katie's Theme Speaking of Katie, the LA Times has the back story on the new Evening score...

"The unspoken directive to be new yet safe, original yet familiar, may have been the hardest part of Horner's assignment. Not for him the relative freedom John Williams had when he wrote the "NBC Nightly News" theme in 1985. Much of Horner's music seemed drawn from something else, starting with the two-chord exclamation at the very beginning of the broadcast (shades of Puccini's "La Boheme"), and continuing with echoes of the old theme featured in CBS broadcasts for the last 17 years. Although the composer spoke of breaking the mold, the music sounded as if he were carefully adhering to it.

So what does "Katie's Theme" tell us? To this ear, its strongest message is: I'm pretty, I'm packaged, I'm slick, I'm new, I'm careful. In other words, Horner has succeeded admirably. His theme is a perfect embodiment of what Katie Couric, so far, has meant to the evening news landscape."

Read "Katie Couric's New Groove" by Anne Midgette, via the LA Times here