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Change management challenges for local TV

Are Change Management Challenges Slowing Local TV Ad Industry Transformation?

April 4th, 2019   ||    by John R. Osborn

Two important reports addressing technology-driven change management challenges were released in 2018. Forrester surveyed 1600 businesses and IT decision-makers across countries and industries to understand digital transformation readiness and progress. Videa surveyed 174 local TV buyers, reps, and sellers to identify change management challenges and attitudes toward technology in that sector.

Due to different samples and methodologies, we can’t make one-to-one comparisons; however, general observations illustrate how local TV digital transformation and larger, cross-industry changes are unfolding.

Technological Change Is Top of Mind

Thirty-eight percent of Forrester survey respondents believed technological change would have the greatest effect on their business decisions, followed by economics (31 percent), politics (16 percent), and competition (15 percent). The majority of Videa survey respondents (91-96 percent) were excited about tech solutions, and 84 percent said their organizations were, too.

If both reports showed a high awareness of the importance of technology-driven change, other responses showed some confusion about transformational success.

Confidence and Confusion Co-Exist

Forrester reported that 56 percent of those surveyed said that their firms were currently undergoing a digital transformation, 22 percent were investigating or improving but not transforming, and 21 percent had completed digital transformation. Ted Schadler, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, questioned those who believed their organization’s digital transformation was complete, as he noted that this transformation is never quite finished.

Videa uncovered a disconnect between the 84 percent who said their organizations were excited about tech solutions and the mere 21 percent who said that their organizations were “very effectively” using tech solutions to adapt to TV industry changes.

What It Takes to Transform

Forrester pointed out that firms need to transform culture, metrics, structure, and talent—not just technology, and suggested that technology will ultimately change every position in a company.

Over half of respondents (52 percent) believed promoting a continuous innovation culture would help accomplish the objectives of their organization’s digital transformation.

Other critical factors included:

  • Creating new digital platforms (39 percent)
  • Changing the company’s business metrics to encourage cross-departmental collaboration (34 percent)
  • Adopting design-thinking and customer journey-mapping practices (32 percent)
  • Creating a new C-level executive position to lead digital transformation (30 percent)
  • Acquiring companies to increase digital competencies (30 percent)

Videa offered these guidelines to overcome change management challenges:

  • Blend people and automation. Ensure your team is aware of the purpose of new technology. For example, automation means employees will have more time for creativity and development.
  • Leverage data for creativity. Audience data and technology can enhance creativity.
  • Evolve the business. People and companies must be willing to adapt to the change.
  • Break down the silos. Breaking silos can empower employees and lead to successful organizations.
  • Invest in skills training. Training is an important investment for employers and employees.

For local TV buyers and sellers, positive change management actions are needed to counter emotional challenges:

  • Employee fears about job loss or not being as valuable a human resource.
  • Middle management aversion to moving from legacy organizational structures and income streams.
  • Senior management abilities to lead a successful, dynamic business that is in a state of constant reinvention and change.

Though challenging, technology’s changing role in this industry can be tackled successfully with the right resources, mindset, and action plan. Change is positive.

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