By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS — I ran into to another couple of True Believers this past week.
True Believers are the radio folks I talk to who just know deep in their heart of hearts that the brilliant use of our digital tools could help radio be the best it could possibly be. When I talk with them, they often just see so clearly how to fit all our different platforms together and how to use them. Most of them seem to feel a level of frustration, too. I suspect that’s because they are often the one person at work who is both knowledgeable and passionate about the potential of these tools.
If you think that describes you, here are a couple of ideas on how to lessen your frustration level. I think these might help you in other ways, too. Ideally, they’ll help position you as the radio/digital expert in your workplace, and help accomplish what you want to, as well.
If you have a vision for how digital media can be used in a new way at your stations, you might well have a whole overarching idea for how the pieces fit together. That’s good, and it’s bad. That’s often more than others can handle at one time.
However, a practical thing to do is just start small. Pick one piece of the puzzle you could work on getting implemented. This will actually give you more flexibility because focusing on a small piece allows you to volunteer to do it, lobby for it over time, and come up with evidence why changing this one piece will be a good thing rather than a risk. Remember that even the best organizations can be change-resistant. If you finally get to do what you’ve been working on getting done, you are on your way to being the resident expert.
Tennis great Arthur Ashe had advice for everyone in this position. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
I’ve learned some valuable stuff from great GMs I’ve worked for. One was Dave Meszaros in Atlanta, who taught me the concept of Kaizen.
It’s the idea that started in Japanese management philosophy that everyone works all the time to make things better. Translated, Kaizen just means “good change,” and it can be big change or little change, so long as the processes are in place to always keep improving.
Even though Kaizen can happen on the level of a huge organization, it’s also valuable even if you’re just one person alone working to improve things at the office. For True Believers, it’s a way to stay sane. Scale down on what you want to get done … and then keep at it. Work on improving not only your radio station, but how you work together with others to make things happen, and also your own knowledge. Even if it is slow, if you have an ongoing plan, you will feel better about it.
If you’re a True Believer, and would be interested to see if we can form a community of radio folks who love the digital world as well, feel free to reach out to me at the email address below. I’m also on Kik as CMDigital.
Chris Miller, owner of Chris Miller Digital, is a leading radio consultant specializing in research-based strategic planning and smart use of digital media. He can be phoned at 216-236-3955 or e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.