Radio Needs a New Canadian Spirit

Dave Charles – ByrnesMedia

It took the 2010 Winter Olympics and that hockey game with the U.S. team to really define our Canadian spirit. After the Olympics we can reflect back on those magic moments and maybe ask ourselves, what lessons can we learn from the Olympics for our business to bring us more success.

Canadians have been quiet achievers and happy to be that way.  As Galen Weston of Loblaws said; “We’d like to take more credit for our Olympic athletes’ achievements having eaten our President’s Choice meals, but after all, we are Canadian”. 

I was wondering how we can tap into some of the Olympic lessons for our business.  Is it possible to capture the essence of the games and apply them?

Let’s look at how we can improve things and how we can apply some of what we experienced in our media work.

  • Every winning team needs a good coach.  Are you ready to lead?  Many stations lack skilled coaches to evolve their talent.  Radio is competing with a variety of internet and social media platforms for TSL.  Good coaches know how to position traditional and new media in the right mix. Your station’s team can only improve their performance if you lead them in the right direction. 
  • Promote a team mentality in your station.  Gone are the days of the star. As they say, there’s no ‘I’ in team.  Teams are stronger and last longer, especially in today’s brutal world of Twitter and Facebook where you can be exposed for what you really are. Strong personalities are successful because they seek to engage their audience on many different levels.
  • Reward excellence in performance.  We often forget to do that for our people.  In Australia we had the ‘Most valuable person of the week award’ given to a station team member that did some exceptional work and made the station better for their efforts.  If we don’t acknowledge and reward our good people we can easily lose them to other companies that will appreciate them.
  • Preparation is the key to achieving a winning result.  Many talents are wasted in our business because of a lack of training.  Continuous improvement can only happen if those on your team are given direction and guidance to improve.  You leave yourself vulnerable to good talent being picked off if you neglect them.  The more training and attention you give your team, the better it will be for them and your station.
  • Defining the strategy for the entire team.  For many, the station strategy is guarded by a few.  Others are left to wonder about their focus and direction.  Everyone should understand where the station is going and what the objectives are.  Everyone should understand their role in achieving that strategy.  Successful stations review their strategic goals frequently as competitive conditions change.  There’s a different set of rules for defending, attacking and defending a strategy.  Without clarity around your strategic goals, a station can lose its focus quickly.

Celebrate your success every chance you get!  So many stations keep the lid on team spirit.  With multi-tasking and time stress not everyone celebrates as they should.  I believe this prevents extraordinary performances.

Winning lessons from the Olympics in summary….You need great coaching to win.  Focus on the ‘TEAM’ rather than the individual.  Reward performance excellence with something tangible.  On-going preparation is a must to keep the station strong.  Make sure everyone knows the strategic objectives. Celebrate success.  Winning Radio is a team game.