With any sweeping change, culture shock is inevitable. And so it goes in the publishing industry, as traditional media teams comes face to face with their new digital neighbors.
The divide can seem extreme, and blending print and digital cultures remains a work in progress, says eMedia’s Rob O’Regan.
The article cites several examples of media companies that are navigating the tricky waters trying to merge old and new, including The New Republic, owned by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.
“We’re a very unique organization,” O’Regan quotes Hughes as saying at the recent American Media Conference. “We’re half legacy old media company and we’re half startup….we literally have people who refuse to tweet, and we have others who are responding to emails with animated GIFs. It’s truly the spectrum. But this is at the heart of our success.”
And success is what they are finding, with a reported spike of circulation and tripling of web traffic in the past 18 months.
O’Regan shares some ideas from Vineet Nayar of HCL Technologies for embracing new models within your own organization. Nayar’s first recommendation is to create dissatisfaction. While this might run counter to common sense and traditional management practices aimed at keeping everyone happy, Nayar says it’s imperative.
“It’s very important to say, everything is not OK. A lot of companies sell a dream that they’re the greatest company in the world. If that’s the way you feel, then how will you change? Inspired leaders,” Nayar says, “get excited about imperfections because [that’s where] the opportunities exist.”
Fixing your team comes with knowing where it’s broken, and getting that out in the open. Then the change can begin. Still, it takes a stronger leadership team with clear focus to pull it off.