Wannabe-Innovative Leaders

Media executives like to talk about innovation but lack the will to change their management style.

This week, I received another issue of Anita Zielina’s ‘Notes on Change,’ titled “Why I Moved to NYC to Train Innovative Media Leaders.” You should definitely subscribe to this newsletter.

Anyway, Zielina worked for about ten years in the media business. She tells what she loved about the jobs. And what she didn’t like:

The lack of creative space and lack of appreciation for innovation. The millions of meetings. Petty political fights on the management level. But, more than anything, my share of bad leaders I encountered, followed by disbelief when they still got rewarded with additional responsibilities by boards or CEOs.

Ultimately, she asks the crucial question:

What if it is not the new product, […] that will ‘save’ the media industry/the news organization in question, but if it’s rather our culture that is holding us back, and that will, ultimately, kill us if we don’t radically transform?

I would argue, she’s right.

Now, Zielina mentions the lack of appreciation for innovation. Here’s where I don’t entirely agree with her. At least in Switzerland, many media executives talk about change and are looking for new products and services. And, so I think, are also showing appreciation, if there’s any innovation happening within the company.

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