Monday, June 30, 2008

"Fully to understand a grand and beautiful thought requires, perhaps, as much time as to conceive it." Joseph Joubert

"The shortest answer is doing." George Herbert

"Thoughts are but dreams till their effect be tried." Shakespeare

Today's image: Queen of in Love Hearts by FotoRita. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Perspective is worth ten IQ points: One of my favorite Gary Hamel quotations and it's relevant again today thanks to the uber-cool Bruce Sterling. Bruce talks about broadcast media and change telling us " only die if you don't adapt." He also says...

"My sense of these media organisations that use this argument of incredibly rapid technology change is that they're screaming that they're being pursued by a snail and yet they cannot get away! 'The snail! The snail!', they cry. 'How can we possibly escape!?' The problem being that the snail's been moving closer for the last twenty years one way or another and they just weren't paying attention. Because if we're honest, if you don't want or need to be first and you don't need to own the platform, it can't be hard to see roughly where this environment is going. Media will be, must be, transportable in bits and delivered to TV screens and various other players."

Read The Giant Monster Snail that eats broadcast media here. Bravos, Bruce!

My sense is the challenge is not getting new ideas into the conversation, it's getting the old ideas (and legacy business models) put into their proper place. The most obvious way to grow broadcast is to create new platforms, new business models that will serve, during some interval yet undetermined in length, to compliment and be additive to the enterprise. It's competing for the future and it requires serious investment.

Therein the problem.

Broadcast has become obsessed with street metrics (e.g., free cash, EBITDA) and continues resisting any major new operating investment. It's not the main channel OR the web. It's the main channel AND the web/DTV/HDR/Mobile/VOD/Interactivity/Data et al. In too many cases broadcast is happy living with Web 1.0 and waiting until someone writes the #1 best selling book on 2.0; this is a strategic error, an error of judgment most often driven by quarterly financial performance. The game is not OR, the game is AND.

The single biggest problem hurting every public broadcasting company is how they are responding to the lack of growth. The response to the growth problem has become the problem. It's traditional media's very large and so very obvious elephant in the room.

Everything digital matters and it matters now. The majority want us to believe they are fast followers, nimble, agile, able to get into the game when it counts. P.S. They're waiting for a leader to follow. Time to stop playing around in the margins, time to stop messing around tweaking the numerator, time to stop making small changes to small things. Make big changes to big things. Change the denominator! Don't fear the snail. Take full advantage of the moment. Take decisive action.

Stowe Boyd blogs about the Nick Carr Atlantic piece Is Google Making Us Stupid ?...

"...the inherent conservatism of the mass media and other mass organizations (those that are based on one:many modes of communication, like government, religions, business, and so on) will lead them to say that this new sort of thinking is illegitimate: they war against it, saying that our new ways of talking and thinking and the social structures that they engender are bad, inferior, immoral, and stupid; and that those in favor of this web revolution are dumb, misguided, or evil fringe lunatics.

Expect more of this. As we move to the edge, those in the center are threatened by the changing of everything, and they will do almost anything to stop it, or at least slow it down as much as possible. It's a social revolution, and those who are losing control will go a long way to stop it, if they think they can."

Read the entire post here. Kudos, Stowe. Well done.

Bonus: The New Anti-Social

Congrats & cheers: posterous, now live, blogging via email - no account required.

Friday, June 27, 2008

"Slumber not in the tents of your fathers. The world is advancing. Advance with it." Giuseppe Mazzini

"Knowledge is the antidote to fear." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Good, the more communicated, more abundant grows." John Milton

Today's image: tulipas&brumas_winter, 2006 by helenabraga. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Benjamin Zander @ TED on music and passion. Highly recommended. Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go." William Feather

"There is no merit where there is no trial; and till experience stamps the mark of strength, cowards may pass for heroes and faith for falsehood." Aaron Hill

"Good people are good because they've come to wisdom through failure." William Saroyan

Today's image: Storm in the Afternoon by imagonovus. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Film: GONZO, a documentary by Alex Gibney. In celebration of HST, trailer and more here.

Video of the week: In the spirit of the My Damn Channel hit vid series You Suck at Photoshop comes The Website is Down: Sales Guy vs Web Dude [NSFW, language] via Laughing Squid. Better copy via YouTube here. Bravos to Josh Weinberg, well done!

Bonus: Visuwords.

Congrats & cheers: Google introduces Google Ad Planner.

Ran out of Wednesday. Back on the road tonight.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"While the right to talk may be the beginning of freedom, the necessity of listening is what makes the right important." Walter Lippmann

"Silence is an answer to a wise man." Euripides

"The attempt and not the deed confounds us." Shakespeare

Today's image: Peaceful Reflections by ballycroy. Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Fine line drawn by Dave Winer..."FriendFeed is to Twitter as WordPress is to Blogger" [via Twitter]

Marc Benioff, CEO: "The dead-end suggestion box and the auto-reply are symbols of corporate indifference and are no longer tolerated." Jeff Jarvis shares that remark and goes on to write "But the real question for companies and institutions is how willing they are to let their constituents into the process of doing their jobs. Can customers help design products? Can citizens write legislation? Can readers suggest stories newspapers should cover? Your constituents are already talking about you and joining a conversation with them is a fine first step. But are you willing to let them sit at the next desk to work with you? Will you be that open?" Read Jeff's entire article via The Guardian here. Kudos, Jeff. Jeff is also blogging on the FCC here.

Getting Schooled: Bravos to Entercom. They're creating truly unique experiences for aspiring musicians and music fans - encounters with their favorite artists. They've signed retailer Guitar Center as sponsor. They've created web assets to support the initiative [Get Schooled with Guitar Center], listeners qualify to participate via radio station websites. A very cool concept and well done. Creating memorable experiences, real dream come true moments, is powerful magic. My suggestion is this may represent an excellent opportunity for MasterCard sponsorship, what Entercom is creating are moments that one can not purchase, they are indeed "priceless." My thanks to Emily DiTomo for the tip.

Culture of the tribe: Jay Rosen has written an important piece on the brave new world of semi-pro journalism [Open Systems, Closed Systems and Trauma in the Press].

Can you hear me now? Might want to check your website as a listener or viewer would in attempting to contact you. Broadcast site after broadcast site feature Contact Us pages filled with email addresses, however, very few provide the primary telephone number. Getting in touch with station based colleagues and not having their direct dials often means visiting their website. More often than not one finds numbers for the studio, the newsroom, the sales department but no mention of the main number. Thinking my best bet is the sales dept I often call that number, usually get voicemail and typically become captive to the automated attendant. Provide the main number, answer your phone. My sense is there's competitive advantage here as no one is doing this.

Congrats & cheers: Patrick Goldstein adding a blog, The Big Picture, to his weekly LA Times column on media, entertainment and pop culture. Bonneville, Chicago on their trend, two stations in the top ten, 25-54 (WTMX & WDRV). CBS' Norm Winer on again posting a top ten money demo showing for WXRT.

Monday, June 23, 2008

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams

"Today I met with a subliminal advertising executive for just a second." Steven Wright

Today's image: Ol' Man River by edwardleger. Great shot. Thank you for sharing.

Almost done with preparation for my upcoming talk.

So, of course, the uber-cool Dave Winer again brings up his Rethinking the conference meme. He's totally right. Read Dave's post w/comments here. Bravos, Dave. Well said (again).

Congrats & cheers: Paul Smurl promoted to VP/Advertising at New York Times. BJ Leiderman the very gifted guy that composes all that killer music for public media stars in his own video classified, check it out here. Dan Farber and team CNET on their new look and feel, preview here.

Bonus: Musicovery: interactive webRadio

Bonus quote: "Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid." John Wayne

Grapes: Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling, exceptional value under $10. Highly recommended.

Thanks to Jessica Hagy for her tribute (above) to the brilliant George Carlin.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"He who thinks everything must be in bloom when the strawberries are in bloom doesn't know anything about apples." Greek proverb

"You can't achieve anything without getting in someone's way. You can't be detached and effective." Abba Eban

"The most valuable of talents is that of never using two words when one will do." Thomas Jefferson

Today's image: Come little children by Simon Pais-Thomas'. Great shot. Thanks for sharing.

Preview: Trib's Orlando Sentinel debuts new look tomorrow. Check out the online preview here.

Newspapers' 400-year death spiral - continuing team coverage: Ryan Sholin offers 10 obvious things about the future of newspapers you need to get through your head...

"8. You ignore new delivery systems at your own peril RSS, SMS, iPhone, e-paper, Blackberry, widgets, podcasts, vlogs, Facebook, Twitter — these aren’t the competition, these are your new carriers. Learn how to deliver your content across every new technology that comes into view on the horizon, and be there when new devices go into mass production."

Ryan's post w/comments here. Kudos, Ryan. Well said.

Word to the wise: Bill Gates shares Eleven things kids will not learn in school...

"Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one."

via Steve Clayton, Lessons From Bill Gates w/comments here.

Bonus: Tomorrow Museum

Friday, June 20, 2008

"True affection is a body of enigmas, mysteries and riddles, wherein two so become one that they both become two." Thomas Browne

"The wise man will want to be ever with him who is better than himself." Plato

"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is probably wrong." Arthur C. Clarke

Today's image: Ballet by Face it. Simply wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Bonus: DIY Yahoo! Resignation Letter

Congrats & cheers: Ian Rogers launches Topspin Media.

Julie Taymor @ TED: Theater and the imagination. Amazing. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Indifference is the invincible giant of the world." Ouida

"To make the common marvelous is the test of genius." James R. Lowell

"Towers are measured by their shadows, and men of merit by those who are envious of them." Chinese proverb

Today's image: me by - Wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

"I don't know"

Working on a talk for next week. Draft #5 or is it #6. No matter. A good measure of my talk is about leadership and adult learning. In my experience, the best three word lesson in learning may be found in having the courage to say "I don't know." Here's what Wurman said...

"...the most essential prerequisite to understanding is to be able to admit when you don't understand something. Being able to admit that you don't know is liberating. Giving yourself permission not to know everything will make you relax, which is the ideal frame of mind to receive new information. You must be comfortable to really listen, to really hear new information. When you can admit to ignorance, you will realize that if ignorance isn't exactly bliss, it is an ideal state from which to learn. The fewer preconceptions you have about the material, and the more relaxed you feel about not knowing, the more you will increase your ability to understand and learn."

Repeat after me, I don't know. Take that attitude, add curiosity, mix with discipline, voila!

No business like show business: Radio programming and marketing ace Lee Arnold continues his series, serving up Rocket Surgery Pt 3 here.

Midtown buzz: David Barrett, Susan Lyne, Judy McGrath, CBS

Misc cool apps of the moment: Twitter + FriendFeed = Plurk. Planning tool, Center'd. Read webpages later on your phone, LaterLoop

Congrats & cheers: Kim Johnson hires on at Tribune as SVP, Local Sales.

Closed circuit to CBS AOL Radio player team: Check the date on the Duffy ad. "Release 5/13 Pre-order now!" Is no one looking at this stuff? A Duffy offer on an HD2 Oldies channel? This is easy to fix and why use the inventory for a dated offer?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"High station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace." Tennessee Williams

"There is an audience for every play; it's just that sometimes it can't wait long enough to find it." Shirley Booth

"No pleasure lasts long unless there is variety in it." Publilius Syrus

Today's image: Test pic #9 by Dave Winer. Very cool shot. Thanks for sharing.

The show must go on

Succession planning is difficult. It's one of the only mission critical tasks that consistently gets a pass until it becomes a high priority, one of obvious and serious urgency. We should get around to that someday becoming What are we going to do now?

The sudden and unexpected loss of the very gifted, hard working and successful Tim Russert serves as a perfect illustration.

As a practical matter, Tim was an incredible talent and a strong leader who held four key posts at NBC News.

Wendy Wilkinson, already on staff, would appear the person most deserving to be named NBC's D.C. bureau chief, one of Tim's responsibilities.

But who is best qualified to serve as the next managing editor and moderator of Meet The Press? Who is the person that can also contribute to the other news division shows as chief political correspondent (and advise parent GE on relevant political matters)? Finally, who is the executive that can serve as effective advocate for political news when dealing with New York.

No doubt, Tim Russert was that most rare of once in a generation broadcasters but the show must go on. Steve Capus and Jeff Zucker have a big, complicated hiring and potential major reorganization on their hands. They'll need to do a job equal to that once done by Michael Gartner in hiring Tim (likely a mission impossible).

Waiting until you need to find someone is never the best strategy. The odds are against you especially when timing is no longer on your side. Succession planning deserves to be a priority on the agenda of every manager before need presents. It's consistently the one must-do that managers just don't do. The unexpected happens and it happens to the best of managers. The failure to develop a solid succession plan twice worked against CBS in recent years. Howard Stern and Dan Rather.

Five suggestions.

1. Champion human resources development. Every person on your team deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential. Develop the people who develop your profits. Exhibit A: Meet The Press EP Betsy Fischer started as an intern on the show seventeen years ago.

2. Make it a requirement. To be eligible for promotion people must have trained and/or identified (and be in contact with) one or more qualified replacements.

3. Formalize succession planning. Make it part of the annual business planning process. Establish timed objectives with delayed incentives for effective implementation (i.e., Identify candidates by dates certain, pay bonuses when actually faced with a need that the plan resolves).

4. Adopt the practice of continuous recruitment. No matter how strong the short list developed continue to network and search for qualified candidates, especially high potential candidates.

5. Keep score. At the end of every week ask yourself "If the airplane went down and [Dave Martin] didn't come back from vacation do we have at least two good candidates ready, willing and legally available to talk with us about [Dave's] job? Whom is [Dave] now training to take his place?" Keep a scorecard listing all your players, grade yourself. How ready are you this week? No, really, this week, right now, how ready are you?

Plan now for the show to go on later. Finding people is made easy when you're looking for them before you need them. Pay no attention to those who would have you (and their bosses) believe "There's no one out there," they're out there and you're paid to find, develop, retain and someday replace them. As the great Paul Drew taught "Planning affords the best ROI."

[Related: Timesmen Bill Carter and Jacques Steinberg write With Tim Russert's Death, NBC Must Replace a Man of Many Roles here and David Carr writes The Media Equation - In Mourning for a Man and his Era, here. WaPo's Eugene Robinson writes The Outsider's Insider here. The story all insiders are talking about - news of Tim's death broke not on NBC but on Wikipedia - BW's Jon Fine w/more here.]

Word to the wise: Don't write another liner, produce another promo or create another ad until you read this PDF. Thank me later.

The responsive chord: Tony Schwartz passes. [Obit, NYT]

Local, local, local: bows Radar (in preview here)

Grapes: Favorable exchange rates (1 USD = 3.04 ARS) continue to make the wines of Argentina exceptionally good values. Budini, Malbec 2006 (Mendoza). A good red under $10, drinks like a $25 wine.

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind." Rudyard Kipling

"Let everyone sweep in front of his own door and the whole world will be clean." Goethe

"Any jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a good carpenter to build one." Sam Rayburn

Today's image: New Day 1600 by myuserid. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Marketing ace Tom Asacker has written an article that deserves your attention. Ball of Brand Confusion [via PDF here], Tom's latest offering, suggests "Marketers are obsessed with words." Tom then goes on to counsel us..."You are not in the words business; you're in the business of adding value to customers' lives."

He's right.

The focus of attention and resources should first be on the product or service experience. There is only one moment of truth, that moment of actual first usage when everything you are is determined, defined by the product or service experience.

Having the right concept while critical to success quickly becomes subordinate to execution.

But what about words? My sense is words, in the context of marketing and advertising, do play an important role in positioning, creating product or service expectations. They may also serve to affirm experience, or not. "Tell the story, take out the good lines and see if it still works" advised Hemingway.

A good example of promotion over product is the movie trailer. Too often the trailer creates expectations the movie simply fails to pay off. The trailer, showing off the movie's best moments, is sometimes better than the movie itself. We are also seeing cutting room floor footage being used in trailers (i.e., scenes not even in the final cut).

Here's the thinking of two brilliant ad men...

"Writing good advertisements is very difficult indeed. But writing good anything is very difficult. I think it was Aldous Huxley who said it is easier to write a passable sonnet than a passable advertisement. I couldn't write a sonnet to save my life, so that's not the case with me." David Ogilvy

"We approach now, and gingerly, the most dangerous word of all in advertising - originality. Here, without doubt, is the Golden Fleece for which all of Madison Avenue is seeking. Here, misty, distant, and infinitely desirable, is the copywriter's Holy Grail. Unfortunately, it has ruined more advertisers than it has ever made, for it has never been defined - and the searchers thus are never sure just what it is they're seeking...This preoccupation with 'originality,' at times, leads writers to absurd extremes. Suddenly, one of the very few truly original advertisements will appear. It may be a great success. Immediately, these writers begin to imitate it - unaware that they are copying merely the form, rather than the concealed gears, pulleys, and mechanisms that the master copywriter has concealed beneath the surface."
Rosser Reeves

From the same classic writing [Reality in Advertising], Reeves reminds us of role when he quotes the legendary copy writer Claude Hopkins "...writers abandon their parts. They forget they are salesmen and try to be performers. Instead of sales, they seek applause."

One more thought from the great genius of Mr Reeves
"...unless the product has a truly unique advantage, as opposed to a pre-empted claim, it is vulnerable to the manufacturer who is willing to spend money on product development and put a dramatically superior product into the field."

For media folks allow me to again sum it up in a sentence: All that's important is what comes out of the speakers and what's on the screen(s), everything else is a footnote.

Bonus: Jessica Person

Congrats & cheers: Casey the K, Lee Harris and all involved in the WLHA Staff Reunion. A wonderful time was had by all this past weekend. Check out the WLHA Tribute Site here.

Have an amazing week. Make something happen!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions." Leonardo da Vinci

"For the mystic what is how. For the craftsman how is what. For the artist what and how are one." William McElcheran

"The end, the goal, of any organization, of any brand is to create customers (or clients, users, members, donors, fans, etc.), and you accomplish that goal by continually innovating to add value to their lives." Tom Asacker

Today's image: Le Grand Irs by Fred Winston. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Always deliver a provocative beginning

Last year an international trade association invited me to participate in a retreat for their member CEOs. The topic of the meet was how to communicate more effectively, internally and externally.

What the association engaged me to prepare was a talk about delivering a good talk.

One of the points in my presentation was "Always deliver a provocative beginning, the audience is bored." Three illustrations were used.

One involved a newly hired exec. Recruited to take an also ran rock station to #1, the mission required the exec to step up and lead a format fight with the heritage rocker. The new guy attracted major attention day one.

Dressed in camouflage, he arrived in a helicopter, landing in a field directly across the street from the offices of the primary competitor. His single purpose - to declare war on boring radio - putting the competitor and the market on notice. He championed the cause of rock music fans, delivered a bit of fist shaking, game-changing oration, making front page news and history in the process. His passion and the audacity of this performance art galvanized his staff. The "event" generated significant word of mouth within the buying community putting the station (and the format battle) on the radar.

Some may not appreciate the use of military metaphor, others might allow it but not be able to pull it off, most would have found the helo ride too daring and risky. As a provocative and memorable beginning it worked. Read about it here.

Previously: Radio - Local direct selling is changing, the new scorecards of accountability and transparency, here.

Homework: Read Ball of Brand Confusion, the latest thought piece from Tom Asacker. Highly recommended. Get the writing via PDF here. Kudos, Tom. Well said. My thoughts on the issues raised by Tom coming next time.

Lesson from the second tribe of wireless:

Don Day writes More on the webcast model via Lost Remote here. Good overview Don, thanks. Here's some of it...

"'It’s about not about ‘moving’ viewers to the Web,'’s Gina Stikes wrote. 'Many are already there. It’s about engaging them on their own terms, on their own turf.'”

In May, served 15.7 million Nightly News videos, up 71% year-over-year after a massive video-centric revamp of the Nightly News site."

My sense is Gina has it right. Delivering content on the viewer's terms. The next step is about getting into the complimentary business of export and stopping the obsession with driving any single strategy of import. Main pages are becoming increasingly irrelevant. The objective should be engagement no matter the delivery or method. Your digital assets need to be discoverable and export friendly.

Kurt Hanson chases basically the same issues but from the radio pov here.

Twitter'd out: Count me as done with and over Twitter. It was a fun ride but FriendFeed has become my latest fav app evah. Steve Rubel goes over the top, in my opinion, and suggests FF can disrupt search and reshape advertising. Read Steve and decide here. Kudos, Steve. Good to see you are charging forward with more original writing!

Save the date: Coming next Tuesday, June 17, Firefox 3 [more info]. This blogger is lovin 3.0, RC2. iPhone app store opening still set for July 11.

Buzz: Jeff Weiner, likely leaving Yahoo! to take an entrepreneur-in-residence gig.

Congrats & cheers: Michael Arrington celebrating TechCrunch birthday #3 (and he's just getting started, good for us). Diablo Cody written The United States of Tara gets backing from Spielberg and the green light from Showtime. Nicholas Carr on his latest writing in The Atlantic Is Google Making Us Stupid?. Radio sales and marketing rock star Michael Damsky named DOS at WLS & WZZN.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"I have also thought about calling a conference, since a conference is a gathering of important people, who, singly, can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done." Fred Allen

"Applause is the only appreciated interruption." Arnold Glasow

"Chance is a word devoid of sense, nothing can exist without a cause." Voltaire

Today's image: Sunset at the blue lagoon by asmundur. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Some great stuff from recent reading, listening...

Killer quote by Timesman David Carr during last week's IWM The Future of Media event: "Free, the only price point that matters." Bravos, David!

Spot-on observation by Michael Ruhlman quoted in the NYTBR "Recipes are guides and suggestions for a process that is infinitely nuanced. Recipes are sheet music." Brilliant! Kudos, Michael.

Closed circuit to the CBS Radio Player (beta) team: Pop-unders are so not cool. Please tell David Goodman he needs to find another way. Listening done via the AOL domain. Hint: where are they hiding the radio option in the nav? Had to use search to find it. The assets need to be discoverable!

The Steve Jobs 3G iPhone WWDC announcement, edited to less than 90 seconds here via Mahalo...

Radio programming and marketing ace Lee Arnold delivers on the basics, again. Read Rocket Surgery Pt. 2 here. Kudos, Lee. Well done!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Having once found the intensity of art, nothing else than can happen in life can ever again seem as important as the creative process." F. Scott Fitzgerald

"A wise man gets more out of his enemies than a fool gets out of his friends." Baltasar Gracian

"That which you vividly imagine, sincerely believe, ardently desire and enthusiastically act upon will inevitably come to pass." William R. Lucas

Today's image: Not Lost in New York by Stuck in Customs. Great shot. Thanks for sharing.

Ran out of Tuesday. Did catch some of the new CBS Radio player (beta) via AOL. Congrats and cheers to those involved. Back tomorrow.

Monday, June 09, 2008

"If I were to give off-the-cuff advice to anyone trying to institute change, I would say, 'How clear is the metaphor?'" Warren Bennis

"It would be a great mistake to confine your imagination to the way things have always been done. In fact, it would consign you to the mediocrity of the marketplace." Harold Geneen

"We do not make very full value of the opportunities provided by technology because we prefer critical to constructive thinking, argument to design." Edward De Bono

Today's image: untitled by h.neu. Great shot. Thanks for sharing.

Last week Lee Arnold said something that deserves repeating. Lee said..."They can't give you what you want, if you don't tell them what it is." [Lee's post here]

Lee's spot-on remark reminded me of a recent experience. Having delivered a talk to managers on the subject of leading innovation the first question in Q&A was "What have you found to be the most effective way to motivate others?"

My response was trying to motivate others is a waste of time. Let me explain.

The great football coach Lou Holtz said "Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated."

In my experience, first time managers often get their priorities wrong. They spend their time managing and directing down, focusing almost exclusively on their subordinates.

Let me suggest a better, more productive approach.

  • Manage yourself
  • Manage up
  • Manage across (your peers, including key outsiders)
  • Manage down

The only person you might have any honest chance at managing is yourself. It's the greatest single challenge every manager must address. If you really want to manage someone the best ROI is managing yourself. Good luck.

Managing your manager is critically important. The state of this relationship represents not only the condition of your employment but the ability to get your job done.

Managing your peers and key outsiders (e.g., suppliers, important customers, press) too often fails to be any kind of priority. In the largest of firms managing peers is typically viewed as little more than a competition for greater share of resources or more favorable share of mind (and credit) with senior management. It's typically the stuff of office politics when it could and should be something far more profound.

Managing down gets the biggest share of attention because 1) We have the authority to do it 2) We get some measure of instant job satisfaction from attempting to influence the actions of others 3) We believe our job is to manage the process including the activities of those who report to us.

Managers are not paid to manage others, they are paid to produce results.

Let me again say the most important investment you can make in being an effective and successful manager is to first manage yourself, then your boss(es), your peers and lastly your subordinates. Having said that let me share the advice provided in answer to the Q&A.

The six steps to getting your team moving forward in a more effective and productive way.

1. Manage expectations. Develop rich metaphors. Get everyone on the same page.
2. Set clear standards. Measure constantly and openly share the metrics.
3. Clearly communicate the consequences, those associated with pass and fail.
4. Catch people doing things right, early and often. Recognize, reward and celebrate success.
5. Rigidly enforce the standards, apply reward and discipline with equal vigor.
6. Support and champion the environment and the mindset of meritocracy.

The effective manager sets the tone, creates the environment conducive to productivity and success. The second question in Q&A was "Since managers are held accountable for results and if we believe what you say about motivating others being a waste of time then how does a manager go about getting the job done?"

My response was the truly great managers are those that consistently bring out the best in others. As coach Holtz also said "It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test."
Want more of my thoughts on the attributes of great managers? Read more here.

Have a wonderful week. Make something amazing happen. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, June 06, 2008

"If you want to succeed, double your failure rate." Samuel Butler

"No other area offers richer opportunities for successful innovation than the unexpected success." Peter F. Drucker

"An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it." Bill Bernbach

Today's image: twilight lenzie by Xapa. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Bonus: Cassette from my ex

New & improved: HD Radio News & Comment

Congrats & cheers: Gmail Labs. The Patrick Phillips led panel on The Future of Media at NYU. Catch the video here. Bravos, Patrick! Well done.

Have a wonderful weekend. See you next week in a brand new show.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"Ninety percent of the art of living consists of getting on with people one cannot stand." Samuel Goldwyn

"We do not meet success except by reiterated efforts." Francoise de Maintenon

"Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success." Francis Bacon

Today's image: You Win Again by trixie. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

Thanks to Ian Stewart we get a look at some interesting data from the third survey into music passion in Asia by MTV. 15-34 urban middle class respondents, N = 5,741. Three key points...

  • 50% have downloaded music to their phone recently
  • 74% want to replace their MP3 with a music phone
  • "It's all going digital, fast. It's all going mobile, faster"

Check out the entire summary, Music Matters to MTV 2008, via slideshare here. My thanks to Ian for sharing.

Taddeo to shops - Drop Dead: Seems Jack Taddeo, among the latest to weigh in on the posting issue, is suggesting operators in the top ten markets are advancing posting merely to kiss up to agencies and buyers. Jack wants the RAB and big group owners to "leave the rest of us alone" his thought being lazy big market guys have created their own mess and need not visit their remedies on the hard working smaller market folk. The impression one gets is there's gold in them thar hills and things are, well, just peachy there, thank you very much.

Jack is right about one thing. Small market radio is different from major market radio. Further, measured markets are different from those not measured. With all respect to Jack, he and others are failing to recognize the sea change wrought by accountability and transparency. Nothing but great respect for operators who champion and succeed at direct, however, the world of direct is changing too.

One example. Our small market retail store. We are direct clients of broadcast. As part of every schedule we always include web assets. We track store and web traffic daily. We value traffic into our store and we also value traffic to our web site and to our web store. Our expectation is to generate online revenues equal to or greater than our in-store revenues. A friend and fellow local retailer is generating more dollars online than their very successful storefront. The world of online marketing and advertising is changing the rule set. This is not limited to major market environments, it's a rule set not bound by DMA. Buyer expectations are changing dramatically. Station A might well have better ratings than Station B but when Station B delivers more, is more accountable and appears to be more transparent, doing business with Station A gets questioned. Let me also applaud Jack on the merits of relationship selling. He's right. Local retailers understand that all things being equal we do business with the people we like and all things being unequal we do business with the people we like. What's emerging are new ways of keeping score.

Accountability and transparency are the real issues here. Advertisers and their AORs should hold media accountable. This is not to say that the same rules of accountability relevant in New York should be employed in New Orleans or New Buffalo. For radio to remain relevant and competitive it needs to embrace new measures of accountability and transparency.

LATER: Radio ace Jack Taddeo weighs in via comments. Jack also posted a comment via RBR here...

"For the record, I never said 'Drop dead' to anyone. Those were David Martin's words, not mine. My point is that the big groups can do whatever they want to do, even in conjunction with the NAB, but they should not be speaking for the business 'as a whole'. There are plenty of smaller owners who are doing just fine and have no problems with agnecies (sic) or advertisers because they produce results for them. Don't assume everyone in a 'flyover' state is an idiot. From 30+ years in the business I realize that accountability is of the utmost importance to any client. If the big groups screwed up then, by all means, they should fix their problems. Just don't assume that everyone is in that leaky boat."

My response to Jack: Jack is correct. "Drop dead" was my headline. The bigger point I was trying to make here is the rule set is changing. Online advertising initiatives are targeting clients without respect to size or geography. The internet reorders the traditional concepts of time and space. My suggestion being the very definitions of "...the business 'as a whole'" are changing. Google and Microsoft are developing and advancing tools for business owners to use no matter the size of market. In net effect, they are inventing, establishing new metrics, new scorecards. They are changing buyer expectations by changing the very experience of the advertising/media transaction/relationship. Moreover, Google and Microsoft are specifically targeting small business owners. Microsoft's Office Live Small Business offers free websites (including domain registration); Google Maps allows small retailers to design and offer printable online coupons for free. Local broadcasters are in an excellent position to take advantage of this sea change. As a second-generation broadcaster I'm optimistic that the glass is half-full and remain more concerned with who's pouring.

Previously: "You're making a big mistake" What radio sellers tell us when they don't get the order, how not to sell retailers - more here. "Working with Google to sell ads is not surrender" How broadcast needs to invent new sales channels - more here. "A technique to improve your closing by more than 80%" Lessons learned from legendary sales developer Kevin B. Sweeney - more here.

Word to the wise: Radio programming ace Lee Arnold holds a clinic on how to make the right things happen on the radio. You're invited here. Bravos, Lee! Well said.

Bonus video: Jan McGonigal talks about saving the world through game design. From The New Yorker Conference. What we can learn from the $50 billion multiplayer gaming world. [video]

Buzz: Yahoo! joins CBS Audience Network (video streaming).

Enjoy the video below, it's one minute and simply brilliant.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"We become uncompetitive by not being tolerant of mistakes." Roberto Goizueta

"Retail has been described as selling things which don't come back to customers who do." Tom Farmer

"Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about." Cory Doctorow

Today's image: Much Music by RossinaBossioB. Great series. Thanks for sharing.

Tony Quin, CEO of IQ Interactive writes Another Type of Climate Change in the latest issue of OMMA Magazine (free reg). Tony makes six points about digital competition, here's one of those...

"Don't presume attention. Time is the consumer's most valuable resource. So if you want it, you have to earn it. Consumer attention is very hard to attract and fleeting, and you earn it by delivering relevance. Even though the depth and breadth of a Web experience, unlike traditional channels is unlimited, you must engage the consumer in short increments, with each step getting more personally valuable to them."

Excellent point. Bravos, Tony.

Peter Bart, editor in chief of Variety has started a blog and he's promising unfiltered opinion. You decide here. Kudos, Peter.

Buzz: MSNBC launches micro-site for Keith Olbermann Countdown video here.

Bonus: Alison, a father documents his daughter's life [photo gallery].

Priceless: Despair, Inc. One-stop shopping for all your special gift giving needs and the link you'll be sharing the most this week.

Congrats & cheers: The Filter on their official launch. The new Rob Walker book ships today and promises to be one of the year's best reads on marketing. Highly recommended. [Amazon info], [Laura Miller review via Salon]

Monday, June 02, 2008

"Challenging the status quo has to be the starting point for anything that goes under the label of strategy." Gary Hamel

"The world's best poker players don't hanker for jobs in casino management." Tom Peters

"When the winds of change blow, some build walls, smart guys build windmills." Johnny Martin

Today's image: selfportrait with cat by smile with jul. Clever, very cool! Thanks for sharing.


Until and unless you get their attention nothing happens.

It's perhaps
the single biggest challenge in cognitive process, that required first step, the square one of any effective communication architecture.

How do you get attention? How does one go about the capture and arrest of attention?

Long loyal readers of this blog will please forgive me, let me, once again, quote from the excellent writing by Beryl McAlhone & David Stuart about witty thinking in graphic design, A Smile in the Mind...

"The most precious gift a designer can give a client is the gift of someone else's time...The audience can be arrested by bold imagery, a startling use of colour or elegant photography. But for how long? The best way to win time for the message is to offer something that intrigues. The recipient is seduced into making a commitment. Someone who is intrigued will stay with the item until curiosity is satisfied. So the first benefit of witty design is that the recipient becomes willing to hear the message. The audience becomes captive. The communication has the best possible start...Wit can be the difference between a communication that is glanced at for ten seconds and one that is pored over for ten minutes...witty graphics have been interactive since the days of the long-playing record. The designer sets up an open not a closed system. For example, most signs are straightforward, like 'Fire Exit' or 'No Parking'. What about a sign that gives the information in a witty way? Suppose it says 'No Parking - don't even think about it'? This is a message with more than one layer. It acknowledges that not all drivers will simply go off and look for another space...The 'don't-even-think-about-it' sign accompanies that thought process...Then, as the mind considers the options, the sign makes a second hit. This is one aspect of participation, predicting and entering the dialogue."

Getting my attention, this morning: Michael Rosenblum, Brian Stelter, Rafat Ali, John F. Harris, Rob Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett, Tom Asacker, Chris Messina, Om Malik, David Weinberger, Kurt Hanson, Lee Arnold and the radio stations programmed by ace Brian Kelly [1037 KISS & 99.1 WMYX]

Today, spend some time thinking about attention. Have an amazing week; make something happen, catch somebody doing something right.

Previously: Inside baseball, Radio - Throwing away 41% of the inventory.

Bonus: Legendary radio star, Fred Winston is at work in his garden, camera in hand. He shares images, Photoshop mashups, and memorable quotations here and here. Kudos and cheers, Fred. Nice work.

Most emailed post: For reasons unknown a post on this blog from August of 2004 was the most emailed of the month in May. "
Let's agree to stop describing our programming as compelling unless something actually happens on the radio station after the morning show that is not a liner, a sweeper, a promo, that day's music log, or one exceptionally good phone bit with a contest winner." Entire post here. Top ten May visitors by country: USA, Canada, UK, India, Spain, Australia, Ireland, France, Romania and Germany.

He said, she said: "Hollywood is a community that's so inbred, it's a wonder the children have any teeth." Barry Diller at D6. More quotes thanks to John Paczkowski via Digital Daily @ ATD.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

"Chance does nothing that has not been prepared beforehand." Alexis de Tocqueville

"A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn't feel like it." Alfred Alistair Cooke

"Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know." Daniel J. Boorstin

Today's image: There Are Places I Remember by Thomas Hawk. Outstanding! Thanks for sharing.

Bonus: David Weinberger delivers another killer JOHO newsletter here. A great way to start your week. Highly recommended. Bravos, David!