This is not the best time for the print media managers because all those business ideas that made sense few years ago are no more relevant. Developments, especially technological ones, have overtaken those ideas. Cash flow from both copy and space sales are not enough to take care of operational expenses not to talk of staff member’s salaries. But regrettably, the media managers are not presenting the true situation of things to the publishers and staff members, believing that tomorrow will be better than today without doing things differently.
There is always a limit to, which any particular resources of an organization can be utilized or satisfied. The capacity for consuming resources is always limited by a resource constraint.
First and foremost, media managers should see themselves as entrepreneurs. Apart from the fact that media firms are set up to inform, educate and entertain, they should ensure that these are done PROFITABLY. They should stop relying on intuitions or hunches in taking decisions but base such decisions on the result of serious research efforts.
From the looks of things, obsolescence has set in. Obsolescence in this context is the process by which media manager gets out of date, stale or diminish in entrepreneurial competence to the point that organization results are affected. Law of diminishing returns is gradually becoming the order of the day in the industry.
Media managers differ in entrepreneurial capacity for many reasons. Their nature, nurture and self training or what they have acquired in terms of qualification, experience and attitude will influence their managerial capacity. Also, their willingness to apply them and in practice will influence their future capacity for performance.
Furthermore, the age, ability, capability, availability, extent of information at hand, available resources and general situations of the environment would diverge and differentiate entrepreneurial capacities.
Obsolescence has set in for some media managers in the areas of skills, knowledge and attitudes required for capturing opportunities, taking-off of a business, operating, managing and sustaining success. This reflects obsolescence in enterprise development, management and organic business activities of production, marketing, financing and human resources management.
Every media manager must ardently desire to improve his competence and upgrade skills, knowledge and attitudes as all these face the risks of obsolescence.
There must be willingness to learn on the part of media managers. Experience is replete with dangers. Undistilled experience assumes that what is past is prologue. This is wrong in a complex-dynamic environment. There is in fact no finishing school or terminal degree for management or entrepreneurship education. They should imbibe reading culture and devote appreciable time to reading entrepreneurship and management texts.
The plague confronting the print industry is solvable. To achieve this, entrepreneurship development programme must be accelerated and institutionalised for all cadre of media managers.
New knowledge and tools of management must be transmitted to practising managers on the job or outside the job. New knowledge must be compressed or transmitted by experts and consultants in the print media industry.
Special management clinics in which managers at all levels would spend a day every few weeks so as to be brought up on new entrepreneurial or managerial knowledge, attitudes, skills and techniques should be put in place.
There must be a succession plan in place and should not be limited to a particular department. Any manager who is bereft of better and needed ideas should give way to a more committed fellow. It shouldn’t be a sit tight situation rather it should be based on what is being brought to the table.
Finally, the media managers should understand congruence or harmony between situational, strategic, cultural, behavioural and performance variables of the organization. This is besides the need to understand the comparative analysis of other firms in the industry.
Abiola Ayankunbi is MD/CEO at AbingMO3 Marketing Management Consultancy
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