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LEADING THROUGH DIGITAL DISRUPTION
For the past ten years the fortunes of various media organizations have witnessed a vertical decrease. The loss of revenue channels, low sales and competitions from free content have been associated with this decline.
Majority of the affected media organizations have over the years been operating their businesses within the premises of traditional break and mortar frameworks, that is, relying on newspaper sales, selling advertisement spaces, and sponsored content.
The evolution of communication technologies have on the other hand disrupted the core activities of media organizations (Anthony 2008). Globally, the major media entities are being forced to adopt the emerging technological trends or quit the business altogether.
The fast evolving, competitive media markets are thus requiring leaders who can effectively pilot the organizational roles and as well support digital disruption.
Leading through digital disruption requires an organization to have a constant and consistent definition, well define structures, and scalable business models. A clear digital roadmap is equally important since it provides a basis for clear digital strategies.
Organizations that have effectively experienced positive digital disruptions, have demonstrated their understanding, evaluation, and penetration of the marketplace. This is a critical perspective since each organization is required to recognize its strengths, including developing superior and reliable business engagement that factors all of its strategic requirements, as well as its technological paths,business integration and content development (Bounfour 2016).
For media organizations to excel and lead through digital disruptions, they must adopt the emerging technological infrastructures, and embrace digital economy. The shift in the manner information is being disseminated is instrumental in developing viable models for the businesses to remain afloat. Technological disruptions have developed and attained a status of being principal sources of revenues to diverse businesses.
1 -The Case for Change
Each company is always unique in the manner it is positioned, branded, promoted, and localized within the identified niche. The New York Times happens to be one of the most advanced media entity globally, it is widely recognized due to its huge newspaper market across the world and specifically the U.S. Since the evolution of communication technologies started, this media entity made huge losses as majority of its clients shifted to other news and entertainment outlets.
The shift in the manner media content was being consumed, the popularity of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Quora ,and other social platforms , heavily disrupted and affected its operations and revenues.
As a result, the New York Times embarked on a digital transformation journey necessitated by digital disruption within the publishing realm. Due to the impact, the organization embraced e-papers, and also initiated a digital program where customers could subscribe to content online either on payment or free. The model was hardy, as a publishing entity, physical newspaper sales were decreasing tremendously, advertisers were moving to other blossoming digital content merchants.
The organization is progressively implementing online presence through its website and Apps. This transformation is making the organization to strategically reach wider audience, overcome revenue generation shortfalls, and more reduce wastage as was in production of physical newspapers.
However, the emerging threats is the prominence of social platforms such as Twitter ,Pinterest, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Telegram, YouTube, Quora ,and Facebook, these platforms which are accessed across various such engines as Bing and Google, are disrupting media business. One major challenge is the integrity of online content, reliability and also the factor of fake news. In essence, fake news has been found to be a driving factor fueled by disruptive technologies, and is injuring the media marketplace.
The primary objectives of the New York Times is to bring media content in a proper and transparent manner through the use of technologies. The scope of digital transformation within its business modification to counter fake news, and be a leader in credible digital journalism.
2 -Capture Insights
Profitability is what drives all business entities, and business entities do invest massively to remain relevant in the market, establish positive and recognizable brand, as well as acquire market dominance. These dynamics are visible in the manner the New York Times is positioning itself within the competitive and risky digital journalism. To remain within the profitable and remain authoritative, the organization is required to embrace Internet of Things,Big Data and AI technologies.
Big Data technologies will help in forecasting the future, and this will be instrumental in the way the organization will shape its media content, build its digital niche, and convert the visitors to its content to revenues. The integration of big data technologies with AI can the organization in detecting the changes that are appending and affecting the market it operates. Likewise, Artificial Intelligence technologies are essential in capturing commercial insights about its competitors, including macroeconomic trends as well as the frameworks partners are employing in the market. Such technologies are important since the media operates more on reporting, and being able to offer reliable real time reporting and being ahead of the competitors is key in remain in the market.
This kind of transformation can only be achieved through clear digital strategies in relation to business framework to be used, such definite focus on subscribers instead of advertisers, proper investment in key areas, strong and reliable leadership support for organizations digital priorities, as well as revamping the organizations business protocols. The identified technologies can thus be productive where investments personnel and talents are set within the same parameters.
3 -Make fast Decisions
Situational analysis is a critical aspect of successful business management. To make superior decisions, the organization should embrace the use of Big Data in shaping the focus of its decision making strategies. With technologies, it is easier to make swift and right decisions.
The combination of situational analysis and technologies will give the organization a fair competitive advantage.
Factoring other players such as Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter, it would be in order to embrace the scope technological perspectives to quickly adjust to the changes in its market.
As is evident, digital disruptions have affected the manner businesses are being carried out today globally. The very nature of integrating business intelligence in making business decision is also paramount.
For the New York Times, employing systematic, rational frameworks would be the best solution.
That is why situational analysis is essential in identifying and determining the decisional remedies required to establish the required obligations pertaining to technological advancement for the company products.
The other approach is to employ the dynamics of data driven decisions, these decisions helps to leverage on the technologies, improve company image, and through subscriptions.
4 -Acquire and Engage Talents
Academic values have over the past decades used to gauge and scout for the best talents. However, with the new dawn and the emergence of digital technologies, searching for skills would play a critical role.
In my opinion going for those who have polished their digital skills or those who are self-trained in the same area would be the best option.
Candidates who are self-trained, and have informal skills are better situated to deliver, are flexible and determined to excel.
Unlike the formal recruitment, the scope of acquiring and engaging talents should be anchored on the premises of business continuity, operational consistency, inventiveness and technological supremacy.
For the New York Time, it would be prudent to acquire and engage talented individuals who would propel the organization to greater content and technological echelons.
Setting organizational cultures that are competitive would spur and attract the right talents, that is, individuals who in their own rights are an authority in their areas of interest within the digital ecosystem.
Engaging the dynamic talents would require the organization to define what benefits an individual will get and in response what they expect from the individuals.
In this way, talent pools should be created to make acquiring the talents easier, cut the expenses of recruitment and retraining of the personnel. To retain the best skills should be driven by having the right talent polished and engaged with the organization objectives.
Some of the talents to consider and acquire must revolve within the axis of team development, analytical skills, practical and tactical inventiveness, organizational leadership, as well as negotiation skills.
5 -Create a Digital Ready Culture
From social, political and economic perspective, it is evident the impact of digital evolution disruption both personal and corporate engagement. Publishing industry being competitive in nature require an elaborate transformation (Thompson 2016). Hence, to create a digital ready culture, the organization must transform its conventional working environment, embrace technology, and encourage recognition of digital culture among the employees, clients and stakeholders as well.
The propagation of digital culture should be done with the innate interests being detached from the region of organizations profitability paths. Consider other organizations such as Amazon who have established their digital culture but are less appreciated and admired, they have established comprised relations with diverse publishers, bookstores, partners, composers, and workers. Also, Uber which is known for its power to pioneer services with agility have cultivated a negative image due to poor handling of digital culture. But many observers, for instance, are appalled by the manner Uber has been brushing aside regulators, exploiting and abusing drivers, and in some instance, in a number of extremely publicized occurrences, neglected to guard its workers as well clients from mistreatment.
The organization values must reflect social elements which must align with the business interests. It would be suitable to consider the scope of autonomy, openness, speed as well as impact of defined digital culture.
In each aspect, the organization must as well factor the various loopholes and risks tethered to establishment of digital culture. The purpose would serve in controlling what the organization and what the outside world sees it.
Thus training the employees on the dynamics of positive digital culture would help in molding a strong digital culture within the organization (Bounfour 2016). The employees need to be exposed and trained on the rudimentary comprehension for the purpose of set the digital culture.
A clear digital culture that is well established, will help in building an open and genuine ethos with a distinct line of communication that will not only help to build and strengthen employees but also filter down to clients, and this would aid modeling and communicating genuineness, and as well build rapport.
6 -Steer Collaboration
When handling the dynamic allied with media organization that is a heavy consumer of technologies, it becomes paramount to acquire skilled, talented and highly informed team to make the organization deliver. To steer collaboration understanding the personnel to involve should be based on self-drive, ambitions, and team development.
Collaboration within an organization is is supreme, and when matters relating to digital disruption, marketplace dominance as well as organization image, building a diversified collaboration should be a must. The mandate of steering organization collaboration should be mandated to team leaders who share the same objectives as the individuals in the organization driving digital transformation through disruptive technologies.
Various studies have demonstrated that when employees spend time, and positively undertake chores collectively, the workflow ameliorates considerably. Ideas and contents are developed swiftly while the progression is measured in real time. Sharing of ideas as well as learning including insights between the various departments should be sustained, this is predominant to a productive and impressive organizations digital culture.
Effective steering should be based on the assisting the organization grow, and allow the employees to participate in the business decision making activities. Likewise, there are various informal collaboration approaches which the should be as well incorporated into the organizations objectives of digital and technologies transformation. Some of these workplace cooperation include Open discussion,multi skilled teams, and team brainstorming.
The scope of steering collaboration must as well embrace skills that would make collaboration effective and successful. Some of the skills should include :listening to the members concerns, evaluating situations without passing blame to others, build accord as pertains to organization objectives, as well uphold compromise where essential to drive the organization agenda forward (Wu ,et al 2019). Benefits of collaboration are many and diversified, they include: swift innovations, personally skills development as well as improved efficiency for all remote teams.
7 -Select your Leaders
The global economy is evolving fast and becoming sophisticated and highly unpredictable. This is the reason majority of organizations are frequently searching for the best leadership for their business. It would be instrumental for the organization to seek leaders who are skilled, good negotiators, and are result oriented. Due to emerging business challenges, and elevated competitions, leadership qualities that have been tested and tried are the most sought-after in today’s vaporific and multifaceted commercial enterprise environments.
The complexity of digital and technology transformation requires the organization would require to have leaders who have such attributes as:
Focus-Though no leader is void of personal distractions or dilemmas, having a sound personal management skills is essential, this would allow the leader to set priorities rights, and as a result focus more on the most important issues.
Innovations and creativity- this is another profound that aspect that an effective leader must possess, a leader need to think more and innovators and equally be creative, this would ascertain they keep the business transformation agenda live ,and as well propel the business to the emerging realms of commercial technologies.
Patience- a leader who is not patient cannot help any organization remain focused. A patient leader allows the organization personnel or teams to function with assurance and support. In a business, sometimes uncertain, unpredictable and complex situations do crop-up, and this calls for leaders who are patient, not driven by emotions, patience is a unique virtue that each leader must have.
Emotional Intelligence-Effective leaders should have a higher ratio of emotional intelligence, the need for emotional intelligence is to help the leader to link with his inner strengths and equally use them for the purpose of making the organization better, specifically through leading by examples and providing positive oversight directives. Such traits would be paramount is implementing the desired digital and technological transformation in the organization.
Digital and technological transformation requires team work, focus and consistency within an organization. This would be reflected in the manner both the stakeholders and the employees embrace the digital culture in the organization, use emerging technologies to determine and forecast about the existing trends. The organization can tap within rich pool of skilled personnel within the informal sector to reinforce its talents. Similarly, it should invest more in research and business intelligence to foster its future. Digital skills and development of technologies that are profitable is also important.
Anthony, Scott D.; Johnson, Mark W.; Sinfield, Joseph V.; Altman, Elizabeth J. 2008. Innovator’s Guide to Growth – Putting Disruptive Innovation to Work. Harvard Business .
Bounfour, A. 2016. Digital Futures, Digital Transformation, Progress in IS. Springer International Publishing.
Thompson, Derek. 2016. “The Print Apocalypse Of American Newspapers”. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/11/the-print-apocalypse-and-how-to- survive-it/506429/.
Wu, Lingfei; Wang, Dashun; Evans, James A. 2019. “Large teams develop and small teams disrupt science and technology”. Nature, vol 566 ,no.7744, pp.378–382