Saturday, 16 July 2011

Why Rupert Murdoch's News International Big Business Is Too Big

There's nothing new in the idea that big business, big media, and big pharma are not necessarily good for society. Arguments against big business run along the lines of consolidation of wealth in a few hands, the homogenization of society, exploitation of scarce resources, and risks associated with single supply.

The scandal that has engulfed Rupert Murdoch and News International hint at another consequence that might be of direct concern to business owners rather than markets customers governments and suppliers. The elephant in the room involves the capability of any business owner to be in touch with what their business is doing operationally.

Taylorian approaches to management have implied that division of labour and hierarchical structures will solve that problem. Corporate Governance rules approach the solution to size from legislative point of view. These mechanistic processes have little hope influencing human action on the ground in advance of mistakes. Large corporates and large institutions per se are in this fundamental sense un-manageable.

Financiers and economists will hanker after economies of scale. This excludes any conversation to be had about the organisational downside of scale. Systems have a way of re-balancing themselves. This homeostatic effect seems to have tripped in with News International. Too big, too obsessed with profit, and too out of control. Put arguments about monopoly to one side and business leaders need to think about the size of an organization in proportion to capability to manage what it does.

There are unintended consequences for any action. Owning a big business means less awareness of the specifics, more distance from the sharp end, more chance of the organisation doing something you didn't expect. The bigger the barrel of apples the more probability you will find some bad ones. Big organizations mean that their owners and senior executives are pre-disposed to reactive fixing rather than proactive leadership and management. Setting up management reporting structures, delegating responsibility doesn't mean a business owner can delegate accountability. Omnipotence doesn't necessarily mean you are omniscient or omnipresent.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Rupert Murdoch Goodbye And Thankyou

What do think this image by the Daily Telegraph of Rupert Murdoch arriving in the UK portrays? Some will clearly think its the cyncial PR stunt of a bare knuckle fighter cum entrepreneur. Others might think its the feeble act of an old man who has lost touch with reality. But...

As media experts know, images have more than one connotation and as psychologists know behaviors are invariably founded upon sub-conscious attitudes.

Just ask yourself what has happened over recent years, and more particularly to the News Of The World News Paper. Now look again at the photograph. This is the picture of a businessman who has arbitrarily shut down a newspaper that was a profitable going concern and put hundreds of people on the dole.

Might it be the case that the picture symbolizes a callous disregard for the social welfare of other human beings? Might it be prima facae behavioral evidence of a person that shows absolutely no compassion for the feelings and opinions of others?

It seems that nobody needs to point anything out here because the act speaks for itself. Anybody working for News International might take stock and consider the nature of their employer at this time.

Open Letter To The Staff Of The News Of The World

Like many people I have read and followed with great interest the developments leading to the final publication of the News Of The World. Like many people I have been astounded at the lack of compassion ex-employees of the newspaper have displayed in their zeal to get a story.

I have also heard and seen the anguish and upset that the closure of the newspaper has created for a huge number of people at the publication and have no reason to doubt whatsoever your journalistic credentials and enthusiasm for your profession. You must also have realised just how expendable the News International organisation has regarded you. It is in situations like this that scales fall off the eyes of many of us who have been loyal servants of organisations, passionate about the brand, and committed to quality only to find that the rhetoric of organisational loyaty and being a team is a shallow facade.

It is a common belief that we depend on organisations for our livelihood and therefore we must be fore-lock touchingly grateful for the employment provided. The organisations in their turn dupe they talent they employ into feeling this is true and they totally depend upon the organisation for their survival. Of course there is reciprocity here. However when talent is treated in the way you have been treated it must be obvious who really needs who.

Today you and only you produced the final edition of the News Of The World. Your talents and know how created the content and brought it publication. News International its founder and his acolytes didn't do this. This means that real value of the News Of The World was its people and that the paper was an manifestation of your capability.

I would urge you to set up independently. Capitalise on your talent. Never again become beholden to a vast organisation that treats your talent with contempt and places before you a senior executive who bumbles managerialist patronising rhetoric at you. The world of media is changing and it is changing the model of reader engagement.

Have faith in your capabilities. Pursue your journalism on the principles you have stated. Set up on your own and your readers and advertisers will follow. Good luck to you all.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The News Of The World Does A Ratner

The instances of phone hacking allegations that are being associated with the News Of The World newspaper seem to be confronting the newspaper organization with a Ratner Moment. The ruthless competitiveness of the newspaper industry clearly creates circumstances in which certain individuals might be pre-disposed to deceptive, ethically questionable behaviour.

If the allegations are proven (invariably there is no smoke without fire) then I would like to see the culprits questioned on live TV in order that we can hear their rationalisations, ans so that their ethical credentials can be exposed for eternity. It is significant that the Royal British Legion has dropped the News of The World whilst allegations that the paper hacked the phones of families whose family members were killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan serving their country. Unlike the News Of The World journalists who seem to prefer to serve their own interests.

If the phone hacking allegations are proven then the roaches who committed the act should be castigated for betrayal and dealt with accordingly. Here Hugh Grant reveals how he identified and trapped a roach reporter.
Paul McMullan and Andy Coulson stand at the centre of the NOTW firestorm which seems set to engulf the total management structure of the News International group, it will be interesting to see the outcome.

News Update at 20.00 pm 7th July 2011 - News Of The World Prediction Comes True.

The News Of The World is now Old News

News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

The following book probably has too many big words in it for a News International journalist.