Network18’s outgoing CEO Haresh Chawla enumerates 10 points he followed to lead his team and approach the media business.
Motivate & Challenge
Talent walks in every morning and walks out every evening - that's what IT companies say. But in our case, talent has to walk in with passion and give their best. There are no metrics for innovation or formulae for producing clutter-breaking content - only passion and ideas. Don’t give your people a job. The mantra should be to challenge them because that drives excellence and gets them going...
Create The Right Culture
Everybody comes to office every morning, wanting to do a great job, and create something unique. But what happens once they enter office can spoil it all. Thus, it's really on the company to create a culture of openness, where people WANT to give their best...
Empower & Back Them
Give them freedom, and back them up...while all of us place trust and faith on people, it’s important that THEY know that you will be there to back them up, stand behind their decisions, and be there for them in any crisis
Aim for Perfection
Be concerned about perfection. Ideas are not what make media businesses great – it is putting together a perfect product...with perfect execution. EVERY bit matters- content, promotion, marketing, distribution - to woo and wow the viewers/users.
Cut the "over-synergy" Crap
The war is out there!! ...In the market, not within the network! Cut the bureaucracy and over-synergy crap. Consumers don't care about your corporate structures - and hence, synergy doesn't matter beyond a point...so don't waste your time.
Be Scared & be Prepared
Be prepared. You cannot enter a war without complete ammunition or tiptoe into a market. Consumers don't care if you are ‘launching’ - they want a full-fledged offering, and you should have nothing less than your competitor... A couple of smart kids can eat your lunch any day - that's all it takes. A new show or a new site built with the exact same resources you have, can be a blockbuster, and catch you unawares!
Listen to the team. All of us are intelligent media consumers, and that's what makes us good media managers. So listen to the folks who care about their products intimately.
Let your actions speak. The business is very exciting to the news media and one can get carried away, but in the end success speaks, not newspaper columns.
Watch advertising. Thousands of professionals vie every day to break clutter and get consumers to act. Watch and observe what works and what doesn't. It'll help you create relevant content.
New media is the future, one-on-one are the magic words. Don't see yourselves as a one-way content ‘broadcaster’. Be part of the conversation and don't ignore the power of social media or word of mouth. It’s tough to generate it. So be watchful -- if there is no buzz, you are dead anyway!