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Disruption Eruption
Just saw some news from Reuters by way of Yahoo that was quite interesting. One of the top media leaders, WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell discussed the panic that may be overtaking the traditional media:

“Sorrell, head of the world's second-largest advertising and marketing company and one of the media sector's best known prognosticators, told attendees at a Internet Advertising Bureau conference that declining circulation, viewership and revenue figures had big media companies running scared.”

Maybe he is on to something and “the cat is out of the bag,” “the emperor has no clothes” and any other well-worn catch phrases that apply. Media is changing. You know that if you are reading this. Business leaders in all sectors better find a way to understand this change and grab hold.

"’I think there's a certain amount of panic among media owners," he said. "Most of these companies, ours included I suppose, are run by 50- or 60-year-olds who have trouble getting it, and who really don't want to see change on their watch.’"

As I noted last week, defending your turf through a lock-down strategy is a tactic that is outdated in business. Market leadership develops through offense, sharing, networking and using the forces of community . I think that is what Rupert Murdoch is trying to figure out and understand.

“After Murdoch convened a group of his top managers to plot a new approach to the Internet earlier this year, News Corp. has spent about $1.3 billion to buy owner Intermix Media, gaming Web network IGN Entertainment, and online sports company Scout Media.”

This concept of market disruption was introduced to me through the book “Unleashing the Killer App” back in 1998. It made so much sense then. I am thinking of reading it again because disruptive forces are back at work. Sorrell appears to reluctantly acknowledge that media will experience a sea change in the next in five years. Will he be a leader or follower? Will you?
Leadership Changes Lives

Leadership is a complex principle and yet its greatest examples are often found in the simplest expression. I often discuss leadership principles and how all of us can adopt practices that enable us to become more effective in leading others. Occasionally, I come across a story where leadership has spilled over the bounds of an organization and is changing the way people every where think. 

Back in the dot com boom of the last century, I built a business that was eventually sold to My partner in this venture was Tim Stay, who founded the company and asked me to run it. Tim and I recently re-connected and are currently working on a new venture. 

Tim is an interesting guy. He has an MBA and undergraduate degree in civil engineering and somehow picked up a masters degree in International Studies in Third World Economic Development. Imagine a guy walking around with an MBA and a masters degree in International Studies in Third World Economic Development. Talk about eternal conflict. 

Tim happens to be someone who can somehow make the connection between these two diametrically opposed degrees and more importantly has used one to advance the other. You see, with a portion of the proceeds he received in the sale of our dot com business, he got together with like-minded business folks and they created UNITUS. And this is where a great story of leadership unfolds. 

Unitus has a simple plan - alleviate global poverty (and your VC told you your business plan was ambitious!) Like all great leaders, Unitus is looking at the problem through a new lens and is thereby changing the way we not only look at poverty but changing the lives of those debilitated by poverty. Instead of treating symptoms of the poor, Unitus is empowering the human spirit that exists everywhere on this earth, to work, to earn and to live.

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