Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Author:  Doug McCann
Forthcoming Book:  "So You're A Nice Guy and Want To Be In Business"

Doug McCann BlogChange:  To Buck or Not To Buck

Change often gets a bad wrap!  Change comes with many attributes; good change, bad change, dreaded change, positive change and negative change!  Some welcome change, while others avoid change.  Some are frightened and some can take it or leave it!  With the new year upon us, we may find ourselves hoping for change - positive change that is in the way of new resolutions.  They may include the will to lose weight, exercise more, stop procrastinating, be more kind, take up new hobbies and interests and so on.  Our hearts and our ambitions are in the right place, but critics believe we make unrealistic goals and set ourselves up to lose.  Regardless, we can agree that some kinds of change are most welcomed and not to be avoided or feared.

So, we know that we are in control of some change in our lives!  However, our lives are often filled with unexpected change which is not so welcomed.  Many writers and philosophers have had their thoughts and suggestions regarding change.  For the most part they encourage us to embrace what is inevitable change and explore new means and opportunities.  We are told that if desired change won't come about then we must change our thoughts and our approach in order to forge ahead.

We've all heard the analogies about accepting change; "go with the flow", or "get out of the way, lest we get run over"!  I'm guilty of fighting change, or at least at times complaining about it.  Like many, I do not always like what I see and anticipate the worst outcomes.  I have often shared with colleagues from broadcast radio, my own feelings of the kind of change we have seen in this industry.  Where Program and News Directors once reined, they have been replaced by bean counters and decision makers embedded in the ever growing corporate conglomerate structure.  Stations once required teams to function.  Now a radio broadcast can be operated from a closet.  Digital technology was a blessing to the industry in countless ways, but it enabled a more centralized operation without the need for a large workforce.  The digital age also brought about countless options and choices for the consumer.  News, weather, information, music and unlimited entertainment were now at the fingertips of audiences comprised of every age and demographic.  The very exact technology that could work wonders for the broadcast industry also served up global audience competition.  To radio and television broadcasting digital technology could prove to be a blessing and a curse.

I think either we already know, or have learned through the school of hard knocks that bucking change is a futile effort.  We have to explore ways in which change will be positive, effective and progressive.  In this case the digital age is here to stay, and so why not decide to seek and design creative means to implement change - to view change as something that is malleable, a resourceful tool and not a dead end?!  What decisions should be made and by whom if local broadcasting is going to survive?  From where I sit, broadcasters should be working harder to serve and to pamper their own local markets - their own back yards.  I'm not so sure I see much evidence these days.  The irony is that local broadcasters can beat the whole world doing what only local broadcasters can do for their own markets - cater to, highlight, serve, report on, talk about, pay attention to and above all, make it very personal. And, the good news is that digital technology makes this easier than ever offering endless platforms on which to reach out, collect information, provide interactive means and personally touching the listener like never before.

This is a great example of how change can afford opportunity to reinvent the model or the game - the approach and with a refreshing creative style.

May Angelou wrote, "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."  It is not realistic to expect to be happy with all change, or more so to embrace all change, especially if not directly connected to the situation, but I believe we can sleep better at night keeping in mind something else so very important, written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971), 'The Serenity Prayer'; "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference."

As always, I welcome your feedback!  Thank you for taking the time to read this post!