Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough." Albert Einstein

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

"If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse." Henry Ford

Today's image: Moon For Masako by ~EvidencE~ Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

The product is the marketing
Do things worth talking about

Gordon McLendon got it right. The Old Scotchman, one of the true wizards of 20th century wireless, gave his managers much wise counsel, including this precious gem: "Get people to talk about your radio station."

Long before business writers and marketing mavens first hit on the now vogue notion of "word of mouth" marketing, McLendon and company were holding multi-metro clinics on manufacturing buzz and taking it to the bank.

Today most broadcast managers are preoccupied (overwhelmed might be a more honest characterization) with the crush of daily affairs. The urgent is getting all the attention and in the process it's the important that is being neglected.

On the day job, in our work with radio, television and new media managers, we are witness to the production of outstanding results including some amazing, remarkable ROI. Without exception, those results are produced by starting with a single serious focus, an obsession with the product.

In our experience, these winning managers share attributes which set them apart from others, here now are four...

1. A mindset that encourages and rewards risk taking, appreciates failing faster as the secret sauce of innovation.

2. A respect for talent, a deep understanding that creativity is a renewable resource.

3. A daily dedication, a drive, which keeps them fresh, on fire and pathologically competitive.

4. They love and honor their craft. Accordingly, they have fun, consistently bring their A game, come to play and play to win. They do work that matters, things worth talking about.

Our best advice continues to be summarized in one simple declarative sentence...

"All that's important is what
comes out of the speakers
and on the screen(s),
everything else is a footnote."

Please allow me to again suggest that you read The Design of Business by Roger Martin [Amzn info]. Following are three paragraphs taken whole from that writing. My thanks to Roger Martin.

"Some contexts don't reward repetition, structuring, and planning that are the hallmarks of mastery. Those nonstandard contexts require the creation of a new approach or solution; they require originality. Originality demands a willingness to experiment, spontaneity in response to a novel situation, flexibility to change directions as information dictates, and responsiveness to opportunities as they present themselves, even if they're unexpected. Rooted as it is in experimentation, originality openly courts failure. It's important to become comfortable with the processes of trial and error and iterative prototyping, or you'll be tempted to focus on the less risky mode of mastery, to the exclusion of originality.

Mastery without originality becomes rote. The master who never tries to think in novel ways keeps seeing the same thing the same way. In this manner, mastery without originality becomes a cul-de-sac. By the same token, originality without mastery is flaky, if not entirely random. The power is in the combination."

Martin's thesis concerns combining proof-based analytical thinking with possibility-based abductive thinking (Charles Sanders Peirce's "third form of logic"). His writing makes the case for the advertising put forth in the subtitle of his book, "why design thinking is the next competitive advantage." At the end of his writing he offers this thought...

"As you grow more sure-footed and adept at maintaining the design thinker's balance, you will gain fluency in both the allusive poetry of intuitive discovery and the precise prose of analytical rigor."

Readers are leaders: - Best Books of 2009 - Top 10 Books: Business & Investing, here. AdAge - Book of Tens: 10 Books You Should Have Read in 2009 by Matt Kinsey, here.

Congrats & cheers: Uber-cool media entrepreneur Rob Barnett, Warren Chao and their hard-working, wicked sharp My Damn Channel gang, winners of the first ever New Media Minute Award of Excellence [more info]. Well deserved. (Stay tuned...these guys are just getting started.) Radio programming ace Scott Shannon named VP, Programming for group operator Citadel. If you're keeping score, that's day job number five for the exceptionally gifted Mr Shannon. His other gigs include hosting the highly rated WPLJ breakfast show where he also serves as PD. In his spare time Scott is the mid-day star of the True Oldies Channel where he again doubles up, serving with distinction as the net's chief creative officer and principal architect.

Bonus: Rethinking How Broadcast Media Uses Research by Tom Webster, here. Kudos, Tom. Seems to me we have a bunch of smart people preoccupied with study, comparative analysis, interpretation and serious discussion related to the old answers when they should, instead, bring intellectual rigor to a critical pursuit of discovery - finding the new questions. Roger Martin said something that relates here "...(the reliability-driven colleague) sees the future as the enemy and the past as a friend."

On Twitter? Love books? Please support FLWBooks, Twitter's champion of the book, more info > here

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Style is time’s fool. Form is time’s student." Stewart Brand

"Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.
" Eric Hoffer

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, but illusion of knowledge.
" Stephen Hawking

Today's image: ...the day is done by valonnna. Great shot. Thanks for sharing.

Spending the last days of this year writing my 2010 brief. The working (draft) title is The Handset Horizon: Leading digital innovation. The executive summary will be a forty-five minute presentation taken from the full ninety-minute brief. To learn more about the brief and availability, please contact me directly via email (my contact info may be found in the left column of this page). Thank you.

Here's one key lesson for media managers from my 2009 brief:

Your assets must be...

Ready to Share

10 Ways Social Media Will Change in 2010 by Ravit Lichtenberg via ReadWriteWeb...

"Whether you are an individual, a startup, small business or a large corporation, an online presence and an ongoing conversation with your constituents is a baseline requirement -- and will take time and expertise. Companies are diverting resources and rethinking their traditional outreach strategies. 'Whether you're recruiting, looking for investment, trying to get buzz -- you need to be visible,' says John Nogrady, director, emerging business at Microsoft bizpark, and serial entrepreneur. Brian Zisk, founder of SFMusicTech, which is taking place in San Francisco this week, says 'If you're out there as a genuine contributor in the community you can reach out to many people. Take the FooFighters' free Facebook concert, or Zoe Keating -- a local artist with over 1.2 million fans online. Their ability to connect with their fans was made possible because of the Internet.'" Read the entire post, here.

Bonus: Get your week off to a great start. Take some time to review What Matters Now. Download your own copy, share, post. Think! Make something happen. My thanks to Seth Godin for sharing.

What Matters Now

Sunday, December 06, 2009

“The business world is full of two kinds of people—builders and traders. Over the past 20-30 years, traders have increasingly ruled. They receive the highest compensation. We need to tame the traders.” Roger Martin

"Status comes from running large, high-revenue business units whose operations have been reduced to reasonably reliable algorithms that product results on time and on budget. Those are the highest goals, that is, the ones that command the highest compensation. That is why most executives prefer the known to the unknown." Roger Martin

"Most companies try to be innovative, but the enemy of innovation is the mandate to 'prove it.' You cannot prove a new idea in advance by inductive or deductive reasoning." Roger Martin

Today's image: Jul 9, 2009 - Full moon over 96th St. by Ed Yourdon. Wonderful shot. Thanks for sharing.

Let's play catch up. A bunch of good stuff to share.

Let me again suggest that you read The Design of Business by Roger Martin [Amzn info]. Put simply, Martin has written one of the most important business books of the year. Priced at under $20 on Amazon, it's a gem that deserves your attention (and that of your team).

Speaking of books, while we await his latest [Drive - Amzn info], Daniel Pink shares his favorite books of 2009, here.

"The problem is no longer budget. The problem is no longer access to tools.

The problem is the will to get good at it." Seth Godin

Seth Godin offers a must-read post. He asks "Is it too late to catch up? What if your organization or your client has done nothing? What if they've just watched the last fourteen years go by? No real website, no social media, no permission assets. What if now they're ready and they ask your advice? And, by the way, they have no real cash to spend..." Seth offers an excellent top ten list of things to consider doing, here.

Tom Webster continues to post interesting things. Raising The Game In Social Media is Tom's latest thoughtful post, here via his brandsavant (which I encourage you to put in your reader). But wait, there's more. Tom has rebooted his mad cool link blog DataSnob, don't spend another online minute without it, here.

Sharon Waxman dials us into the Comcast NBCU arithmetic, to wit: "...NBC was valued at zero for the purposes of the financial analysis." Read Comcast: It's a Brave New World, and Cable Runs It via her WaxWord stand at, here.

Jennifer B. Kahnweiler offers a good read - Why Introverts Can Make The Best Leaders (They draw on important strengths that extroverts may not have) via, here.

Closed circuit to broadcast managers: Should your team not yet be in touch with MediaNet my suggestion is you need to get to know them. My sense is you can create competitive advantage for your station using the tools and tech resources offered by MediaNet. Here's some insight, take a moment and read the Matt Rosoff piece, MediaNet could power the online music revolution via CNET News, here.

Best of the best: A work in progress. THE essential 2009 End-of-Year Lists by the uber-cool Rex Sorgatz [@fimoculous], here. Except no substitute.

Which one doesn't belong: You remember the game from grade school. Apple, Banana, Orange, Hammer. Try this one. Elvis, Jordan, Pryor, Stern. That's the group comparison made in the latest TV ad for Mel's pay radio venture - it's plainly delusional. Creative fails to make the sale. Moreover, it's a pure waste of money the venture doesn't have. This poor creative and related wrong-headed investments were bound to happen. Mel is nothing more than a novice when it comes to spending money on marketing.

Let's connect: Should you be on LinkedIn, an invitation to join your network is welcome, here. If you're on the Twitter, please do follow me and engage so that I may follow you back, here. Thanks.

Thanks for stopping by.