warnings of change … continued

To be continued

I heard a statement this week from someone I have done business with for several years that got me fired up regarding change, and our enthusiasm to ignore the past lessons in business when thinking about online revenue generation.

I don’t know the entire context of the statement but it went something like this… “If you want to move forward with online get rid of the old employees and bring in the new.  Now he was not saying fire your staff and bring in a younger group which understands online but he was stating that it would be easier to get to your goal then to try and train an old dog new tricks.

A couple of items to consider before jumping into that raging river…

  1. New blood has little concern for the longevity of your business. The new generation of employee lives in a world that changes everyday so to them any linkage to past or future business is already obsolete the moment it is put into practice.  This concerns me because we lose the foundation of what we are. Not to say the next generation of employees will not be awesome to watch grow our world, I see great talent in the younger generation I hire but you need to train them and give them a foundation to stand on.
    1. In newspapers for example we are about freedom of the press, government watchdog if you will, and holding the truth to viable standard. If we forget that then how do we find security in a world which top news sources goal is to go viral?
    2. If we don’t train the next generation and teach them the goals for an organization past next month but for the next 25 years how are they supposed to find a foothold in our reality.
  2. I have seen publisher and station managers lose revenue annually because they give up on the ship before it has sunk, just to move onto the next ship. I know lousy metaphor but here me out.

I recently worked for a group of papers which had several publishers that took different roads when it came to competitors and core product sales declines.

One group of  Publishers choose to jump ship and basically not give any focus to the profit center which was showing double digit declines monthly. The other set decide that the ship may go down but they were going to work a little harder to suck every ounce of revenue from it before transfer to the new ship. While they worked harder they also built in time to prepare the new ship so that when it was time to move on they would not be slowed down. Can you guess the results of these two teams?

  1. The first team showed double digit declines for another year as hey got the other engines fired up and their new boats moving in their new direction.
  2. The second team of publishers continued to work hard generating revenue from the sinking ship at about 60% of past volume, plus started the preparation of their new ventures at the same time. In the same year they out produced the other team by more than double in revenue and in the next year out produced the first team in the new product as well.

This example of business I think happens all the time now when business is confronted with today’s ever moving marketplace.

Five foundational questions to consider when moving directions;

  1. Does the new direction require and new mission statement?
    1. Are the foundations that originally built your business still relevant and if so at what percentage?
  2. What monetary value is there to be lost or gained by changing directions abruptly and no longer servicing the old foundations?
  3. How much training is required on new generation of staff in the foundations of why the company is in business… from the beginning?
  4. Am I prepared to go backwards in business volume in order to gain the riches of the new future?
    1. I have often discussed with businesses, which change marketing strategies from traditional methods to all new age marketing, if they are willing to work as hard in business today as they did their first three years of business? To me that is what will happen to business in many cases.
  5. Do I have patience and belief in my new direction? How is your resolve? Any time your organization changes you will be challenged to find patience. But if you change dramatically, jump into the raging river, your patience will be tested.


The future will come and many millionaires will be developed in this age of change, so I too want to ride that wave. But more than anything I want my wave to last another 100 years and not be washed out with the changing wind.


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