What I’m Reading — February 2017: Business, Innovation, and Media
A wrap-up of business, innovation, and media articles I found most interesting this month.
An Agenda for the Future of Global Business — Harvard Business Review, 2/27/2017
A very good and insightful look at the future of global businesses following the rejection of globalism by millions of voters worldwide in 2016. This article identifies the benefits of globalism as well as the problems, then poses 7 steps global business leaders should do to better engage the populace. These steps will be difficult as they mean better understanding of corporate-actualization — where a company is in their local and global environment. Shareholders are no longer the most important stakeholder. This is a very difficult balancing act and we will see how corporations progress in the near future.
Why Your Organization Needs a Writing Center — Harvard Business Review, 2/21/2017
This was a great article on improving business communication in organizations. It discusses how some organizations involved writing offices in their structure to help communication. The trick is not to blame, but to improve and make involvement voluntary rather than mandatory. Most people consider themselves good writers, even if they are not. No one wants to be told they are not good communicators, but a writing center can make them and the organization better.
As an occasional writer who has helped several co-workers improve their message, this article spoke to my heart.
In the Data Wasteland — PeterHarlingBlog, 2/17/2017
A very good article on data and analysis. Sometimes data is not complete and the elements where we need to tell the most important stories are where the least amount of data exists. These wastelands of control — if you can measure it, you can control — are often where counter-narratives begin or are rooted. The ability to put something in the grid or on the grid allows control, measurement, and technological advancement. But this advancement means selling innovation and progress to wastelands that are not used to such progress. Here is where tradition and conservatism have the strongest roots.
It is interesting how data, progress, messaging, innovation, and politics are so tightly knit.
Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media — The Guardian, 2/26/2017
This article also discusses data, messaging, and control. It profiles Robert Mercer, billionaire investor of analytic companies and media outlets. By combining the two, Mercer’s organizations know how to push messages to an audience. They are able to game systems, measure outreach and connections, and use tech to influence populations. When these companies become consultants to organizations attempting to lead nations, they are able to strangle opposing voice in mainstream media.
Whereas newspapers and other traditional media took hundreds of years to gain their influence, by capitalizing on data, tech companies — many employing opportunist journalists — are able to get their message out quicker, faster, and through more channels. With attention spans dwindling, tech companies using media have a better chance of influencing than media companies trying to make an impact through traditional outlets.
Investment in Innovation Should Strive to Make the Whole Newsroom “The Lab” — Immerse.news, 2/20/2017
Friend of this site, Sam Ford, writes how many media newsrooms should better improve by incorporating innovation. Stories are being told through different mediums even beyond print, video, or audio. Modern media is not only engaging the audience you have, it is building on new platforms to new audiences. It is about informing and promoting truth. Journalists need to work with creative media personnel to find the best way to express messages. As the bells and whistles of modern media get louder and more distracting, finding an avenue for reporting and messages — and then of course monetizing those avenues — is the biggest challenge.
Unfortunately, media is a moving target. But that is a blessing for companies that might have missed the boat on previous platforms.
WWE’s McMahon changed sports and more — much more — WashingtonTimes.com, 2/14/2017
Vince McMahon has been one of the last century’s biggest media innovators. He took a regional entertainment company, the WWWE, and turned it into a global content corporation. Wrestling is a merely a product for the lifestyle and media the WWE produces. Not every endeavor has worked out for McMahon, but the impact of his product is seen at some many levels of our public discourse.
Wrestling is a show of good and evil, bad guys and good guys, many with bombastic personalities. It influenced Mohammad Ali, who influenced most outspoken sports figures over the last 40 years. The presence of Donald Trump and his cooperation with WWE means pro wrestling’s influence has now entered the political sphere. Whether this is a good thing or not is being argued almost every day.