Marcel Fenez
Nov 11, 2010

The root cause of pain for media companies

Marcel Fenez, global leader for entertainment and media at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, on the root cause of the problems facing the media industry today.

The root cause of pain for media companies

In today's more challenging environment, unpicking the root causes of the pain felt by many media companies requires an examination of all aspects of their operating models. For many, inertia has hampered their ability to respond to the economic and structural circumstances created by digital migration.

Culture - a critical factor in the creation of such embedded barriers - has been an important dynamic throughout corporate history. Many media organisations, often traditional or incumbent, have become more ‘mercenary’ in their culture, meaning there is a high focus on corporate objectives, a low focus on sociability, and a ruthless focus on the
competitive threats to their business.

This more corporate management style may have been successful at staving off meltdown, but how well suited is it to the task of building the loyalty, cooperation and agility needed to drive the innovation and growth agenda over the coming years?

New entrants - and indeed many incumbents with proud traditions - have succeeded with a
more communal environment in which professional and personal lives are intertwined, investment is in the form of common goals, and a shared, positive vision and a strong sense of identity is created; in some ways, corporate culture here is akin to a religious group.

At their best, such a culture brings the best of the organisation and its partners, enabling it to develop new products and reinvent its business model in an open, collaborative manner.

But how sustainable is this model when inspirational leaders leave, or the early gains are exhausted and the next wave of growth requires a fresh approach? This may well depend on the operating model of the organisation and I will examine it next month.

This article was originally published in the November 2010 issue of Campaign Asia-Pacific.

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