The future ... It's the people, stupid!

The future ... It's the people, stupid!

Roll up, roll up. Come this way to view another anonymous looking box full of twinkling and blinking lights which does something incredibly clever and is destined for a data room near you.

The IBC 2015 Exhibition. One thousand seven hundred companies are once again presenting an eyewatering array of stalls across fourteen halls. It is a behemoth 21st century bazaar with each stall-holder trying to sell their latest must-have prototype gizmo to the elite of the broadcasting world’s technical community.

But have you heard about the company chairman who wanted to know why he had spent millions of dollars on a new electronic newsroom system but had failed to see any improvements on-air. Indeed, he seemed to be hiring even more people rather than fewer. It transpired that although the journalists were no longer using their typewriters, they were now dictating their input into the system via personal secretaries!


It’s an extreme example perhaps. But as the messianic makers and messengers of new technologies try to sell their marvels this week, it’s worth remembering: “it’s the people, stupid”.

Time and again Marquis Media Partners, the international broadcast and transformational change consultancy, uncover broadcasters who believe that technology alone will solve all their problems.

Metadata systems are installed – but piecemeal and with no overriding company strategy. Sometimes they wither on the content supply chain vine, unloved and untended because even if people have been told what to do, they don’t understand why they should, so they don’t.

New online operations act as bolt-on extras – with shiny new equipment –but unintegrated with the traditional television staff and operations.

Unless traditional broadcasting companies engage and educate their workforce, challenge their traditional organisational silos and really manage their content intelligently and horizontally, then the market disrupters won’t only disrupt, they’ll take over.

The article was originally published September 2015 in the Business Reporter, an independent report from Lyonsdown, distributed with The Sunday Telegraph

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Last modified on 15 March 2016
Andy Griffee

Advises on strategy, organisational structures & all aspects of change programmes.