How do we help our people get on-board with changes in our movie business?


The media content industry is going through unprecedented disruptive changes, that movie production, distribution and exhibition companies can no longer respond to with individual, one-off transformation of their businesses. Instead, it has become imperative that they implement ongoing, interdependent business transformations, across business functions and units. Business leaders must prepare companies to thrive in a permanent state of change. Everything about how companies create, deliver and capture value is being re-imagined in the media industry. Not just the offerings to the consumer, and the go-to-market is getting re-imagined, but the entire operating model of businesses are getting rethought. This is huge! While the execution of the transformation has to be diligent ensuring high level of confidence in initiative delivery, it is critical also to have the leaders aligned, enabled and committed, and the people at every level of the organization engaged. Ultimately, it’s the people who have to change. So how do we transform the business while changing the way people work? How do we change their behavior, attitudes and even shift the culture of the company?

We start with the top-down direction setting for the business. For success in any type of transformation, we have to have a high sense of urgency, with commitment from the top, to drive the changes through the transformation journey. Articulate the high level story of where we are going? Why do we need to go there? What path are we going to take to get there? What do we have to do to get there? How do we have to change to get there? What is the final reward from reaching there? Just as a script writer would plot the transformation story of his/her protagonist, the top leadership of the business will have to craft the business transformation narrative, except that the protagonist here is the entire organization. This transformation narrative becomes the foundation for all communication and mobilization essential for the change to take effect within the entire organization. The message from the original narrative will have to be worked further to make it relevant for the specific units, functions and staff as it cascades down the organization.

The cross functional redesign would enable structural, operational, infrastructural and performance changes to implement into a transformation map. This map becomes the basis for execution of the transformation. Not only will the stakeholders have to buy-in into the transformation, they will have to demonstrate palpable commitment and ownership of the initiatives. They have to get their respective narratives right for their function, while modeling the future-state behavior for their staff. Structural changes necessary, decision right changes, motivators, and information can all address the formal organizational elements. While workforce transitions will be essential, plan and execute on training and knowledge transfer to enable and empower your staff. Meanwhile, the leaders will have to emphasize engagement along the informal organizational elements also, such as the norms of their business, commitments, mindsets, and networks in the organization. Speed and innovation with which these initiatives have to be delivered have become even more critical, so as to keep emerging startups from eating up their share of the market.

Finally to lead and sustain the changes being implemented, strong change management discipline will have to be adopted that sustains the momentum through the longer term. The stakeholders have to generate continued support while fostering collaboration across the functions and units, because new transformation initiatives will keep popping-up on the horizon. The entire organization will have to pivot as and when called for, while on the transformation journey depending on the external market shifts and technological trends. Every opportunity to re-invent themselves that is not taken up could become a threat down the road. So while being insurgent with a bold mission, and being obsessive about your consumer, movie making enterprises have to embrace a bias for action. You can allow no room for complacency, bureaucracy, lethargy, dysfunction or complexity. It is truly a jungle out there! Be diligent about where you are going.

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