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Managing Change for TV Ad Buyers, Part 2: Personal Development and Team Building

July 18th, 2017   ||    by John R. Osborn

This is the second in a four-part series focused on the “how” of managing change in organizations through new platforms, processes, and business models. The series will provide an action-oriented road map for buy-side workplaces.

It’s easy to focus on technical or “hard” skills and downplay areas of training that deal with personal development and team building. “The study of emotion was once relegated to the backwaters of neuroscience . . . The science has changed,” the breakthrough 2015 PBS series The Brain with David Eagleman explains. “In mapping our emotions, scientists have found that our emotional brain overlays our thinking brain: The two exist forever intertwined.”

We will now explore how to manage change for emotional and intuitive intelligence, which is important to buying and selling—and is often challenged in periods of dynamic change. The first part of this series dealt with rational methods of skills training.

The following are ways to build these important skills in a buy-side organization:

  • Pre-Design Groundwork: As with “hard” skills training, these programs begin with strategic goal setting and planning. In the first part of this series, we stated the need for a strong, connected leader—an “automated advertising lead” or (AAL)—who will organize and galvanize all aspects of technology-driven change, including an annual calendar of programs and events (as managing change is a continuous process) and the regular tracking/evaluation of results. We’ll discuss the skills and strengths required of the AAL in more detail later in this series.
  • Team-Building Programs and Events: Not all team-building activities are 30-day Outward Bound expeditions. In-house or hired organizational development professionals can lead ongoing one- or two-day personal development courses on- or off-site. Finding training experts can begin with your own human resources team—and their knowledge of outside resources—supplemented with broader tools like Training Industry’s supplier search directory. Additionally, the Stanford Continuing Studies program offerings show a sampling of external courses found at many universities.
  • Conferences: Sending a cross-disciplinary team to a conference can create a great bonding experience, especially if it includes social or recreational activities. Industry conferences run by associations or trade publications, which we touched on in the first part of this series, can achieve both technical and personal training goals simultaneously. Attendees can then present reports to fellow employees for further interaction.
  • Social Events with Team-Building Elements: Company picnics, group sports, or game nights can be run fairly inexpensively. Bowling outings, trivia contests, karaoke nights, fantasy sports leagues, and the like can help use recreation to strengthen interpersonal relationships.
  • Webinars: Webinars geared toward personal development can be inexpensive ways to guide employees beyond a group setting. TED Talks are an easy place to start, as you can assign specific talks to members of a cross-disciplinary team and have them present key findings to the group. Training Magazine Network’s and Training Industry both highlight webinars that cover an array of topics—and cater to multiple levels.
  • Additional Coaching and Mentoring: This will provide internal one-on-one support for the program elements detailed above (and in the first part of this series). These can fall under technical training, but should also include old-style mentoring and a go-to “buddy system” that employees can use when challenges arise.
  • Modeling: Modeling by top-level and senior management (beyond the AAL) establishes “soft skills” development as a cultural norm—and is an essential part of the organization’s transformation. Personal development builds around the most vital (yet vulnerable) areas of who we are—feelings, relationships, creativity, intuition, and spirit—so strong senior role models in this area keep things feeling safe.

Industry experts at Broadcasting &; Cable’s recent Vidweek conference pointed out local TV buyers’ and sellers’ distinct advantage in the shift to automated advertising: “[I]t behooves local broadcasters to integrate automation in a way that allows them to leverage the benefits . . . while maintaining conventional methods [like relationships and community building] that work.” This underscores the fact that in managing change, personal development is just as important as technical training. The third part of this series will cover the process of breaking organizational roles out of their individual silos.

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