Monday, June 11, 2007

Photo: Stormy Twighlight by dawn perry. Beautiful shot. Thanks for sharing.

"I believe there's more innovation ahead of us than behind us." Jeff Bezos

"All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up." Picasso

Created an outline in preparing for next month's "best practices" session at the Broadcast Futures Summit. Leading the session is Lindsay Wood Davis. Lindsay has asked that we suggest three books to read, three things to start doing and three things to stop doing.

My thought is to suggest books available in paper - the most practical as our combined lists will total twelve. Here's the first draft of my recommended books...

The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. Amazon info here.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki. Amazon info here.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. Amazon info here.

Things to start doing: One of three. Measure. The most effective and efficient approach to improving performance is to establish standards and employ metrics to track your progress. Say what you will about Mel Karmazin but during his best days in radio his obsession with pacing was smart. Laser focused on tracking the results of activity. Driving the top lines of ratings and revenue is critically important. Whereas Mel preferred the metric of weekly pacing v. last year, my thought is using a daily metric provides a richer picture. This daily approach is much more akin to managing retail. You can gain deeper understanding by viewing data points from a variety of different perspectives. The more data points the better. Revenue per listener. Revenue per avail. Revenue per associate. Revenue per seller. Calculate the cost of creating an avail. Inventory loads. Average unit rates by day of the week, by daypart, by seller. Sales calls to close. DSO. Calls scheduled v. calls completed. Sales pending. Number of accounts on air v. number of accounts in the system (18 month trailing). New business, first flights, on air. Every team leader (i.e., department head) should create and use a daily dashboard. To make goal stay focused on the gap. Carefully monitor activity to close the gap. Use an 18 month planning horizon, compare and contrast with 18 months of trailing data.

Sparkling wine: Marques de Gelida, Cava 2002, Brut Exclusive Reserva. Big bubbly for the buck, another wonderful value from Spain at $10.