The concluding day of the three-day Radio Asia 2010 conference saw an interesting discussion on ‘Change management in the radio industry’ that dealt with what worked what didn’t work for the radio industry, as well as the pitfalls and the rewards.
The session was moderated by David Astley of ABU.
Starting off the session, Parni Hadi of Indonesia said, “In our department, 80 per cent of the employees are civil servants above the age of 40. They have a government mindset and to change their mindset is really a big deal. I challenge them quite a few times and also reward them. It gives a boost to their confidence. We need to make our staff more creative, innovative and productive. I focus on the training part as well and I ask them to believe in learning by doing and sharing.”
Hong Kong’s Hugh Chiverton observed, “It’s all about the change in the radio industry from the micro level. Adding new voices, music and new topics can be very helpful. We are going through technical changes, new building, staff and digitisation of the content. We have a very positive attitude towards the change. We do not require any consultants if we can work with our staff.”
Grahame Lucas of Germany put forward a very interesting point. He said, “We need to understand that most of the people in our office are journalists and not factory workers. They want to be part of the journey. It might be a basic fact, but the size of an organisation is also very important. A smaller staff can be managed well, but to manage a large staff is not easy. Apart from this, the average age of the staff is also important. The younger they are, more easily will they take to new innovations and changes. To change mindsets is a challenge for any department. Regular discussions with the staff can solve lots of internal problems.”
Jan Hoek of Netherlands said, “We set the goals first, then we discuss them and achieve them. We have got great success working with young people. They are very adaptable to changes. Setting examples, clarity in goals and leadership can help in creating a good environment.”
UK’s Simon Spanswick noted, “It is human tendency to not accept change easily. We have seen phenomenal changes in the media industry and one needs to understand this speed of change. Organisations need to find out strategies within.”