What will it take to be a media executive of the future? What are the critical skills in your DNA that will contribute to your ability to lead and win?
First and foremost, you must be a
multidimensional thinker who understands and embraces the multiple platforms and channels that will be available. The days of the "mogul" are gone. The emerging media giant is someone who values the
creative and the brand in a world of cross-channel clutter. Multiple-media thinking will be required. A new creativity will be needed to make all channels of distribution work together. There will no
longer be a distinction between the "suits" and the creatives. The next generation of leader has grown up in several media universes and has created and embraced content along the way. The executive
will be someone who can get friendly with and learn to love the data. Someone who is comfortable with measurement across channels. Someone who understands demographics and media metrics. Excellent
financial engineering skills married to creative savvy will be keys to success.
There will be opportunity for diversity. Diversity of thought and culture. Diversity across gender,
nationalities, age and race. Diversity that allows for niche audiences. The media executive of the future will need to establish a deep and authentic connection with the audience. They will be
curators, not editors or programmers. Building and mobilizing social networks with their audiences will be critical. Conversations must take place with their customers. Ideas will come at them, and
they will need to mine the best ones to be monetized. It is not just pushing media products out, but engaging the audience in a conversation and dialogue that will create new opportunities. Audiences
will decide where, when and how they consume their media. The future media executive will need a managed ego to engage in the dialogue and meet audiences' needs and desires.
sensibilities will be key as the media world becomes flat. The leader will have journalistic skills and experiences as well as an understanding of creativity, storytelling and imagination. Cultural
sensitivities and universal emotions and understandings will drive the creation of products for the global stage.
They will possess inventive strategic skills that enable business
partnerships. They will build ecosystems of like-minded partners of products and services that fit with their brand. They must have a high degree of emotional intelligence that will attract partners
and creative talent and keep them engaged. The ability to put together this string of partnerships and create win-wins for the audience will be initially difficult to establish, but for those who
can, the dividends will be huge.
The future leader will possess a sense of social responsibility. Creating media with values and meaning will be a must. They will raise and explore social
issues that address their audiences' curiosities and concerns.
Allowing creatives freedom to experiment will be at the heart of any media company. This will require executives to be brave
and courageous, to nurture talent and allow them the freedom to explore and grow and develop. Out-of-the-box thinking will be the norm. Ongoing relationships with talent will require future executives
to be able to facilitate rather then direct creative talent.
The media executives of the future will be evangelistic marketers for their brands. They will need to test, promote, learn and
grow new marketing models. In the process, they in fact will become brands as well. Their names and reputations will communicate a point of view to the audience.