Showing posts from September, 2013

Strategy Before Tactics

An MBA student asked me not long ago, if I knew of companies that developed or updated strategies on a regular basis. He went on to say that he was in charge of providing IT support for his organization and when asking for the strategic direction of the company he was told “to increase profit by X% in the next operating period.”
This was clearly not a strategy but an operational goal. Operational goals are almost always addressed with tactical solutions.
The longer an organization has been in existence, the less likely a regular strategic planning process will exist. Leadership will recognize changes in the environment, new financial goals, changes in operation procedures, new challenges and competition. Almost always tactical plans are developed to address the market changes and financial goals.
Tactical plans will include pricing structure changes, development of new products, new human resource programs and new operational procedures. These plans can be very intricate and very sop…

Capitalizing on the Value of Newspapers

I teach both undergraduates and MBA students at the University of Houston. Both groups have been assigned a Harvard Business case studying the Paywall at the New York Times. This is an interesting case and shows the challenges faced by newspapers that are trying to survive in a digital media world.
Interestingly, the case focuses on the rate charged for the print form of the newspaper vs. the digital edition. The digital edition is less expensive and the print plus the digital edition is less than the print only newspaper.
The case also focuses on the penetrability of the Paywall. Some social networking sites have access to NYT content free.
Finally, the case looks at the challenges to transition from print to digital and perhaps most importantly the value created by the newspaper.
As I have watched newspapers address these challenges, it seems that almost universally there has been little attention paid to the value created by newspapers and newspaper journalism.
There is no questio…