Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Creativity in business success

Steven Koonin, president and CEO of Turner Entertainment, presented “CREATIVITY: Why Good Ideas Matter More Than Ever,” to students at the University of Kansas School of Business, Monday, Oct. 15.

“You used to plop down in front of the T.V. and watch, then came the VCR and recording, and now there is online streaming,” Koonin said.

As one of the smartest people in television, Koonin has led his company to success in an industry that focuses on change. In order to be successful in business, Koonin said there has to be a vision to avoid outcomes like Blockbuster’s. Its inability to adapt led to its defeat by Redbox and various online streaming sites.

“Media is under attack by technology,” Koonin said.

To overcome changing times, to strive for long-term success in work, to avoid tunneling all focus on what is being done, there should be attention to where the company is going, Koonin said.  In his presentation, Koonin revealed some of his most helpful points to provide insights that aim to succeed.

        Take a fresh look. Children view the world with a different set of eyes. Be the one to see opportunities that others do not.

        Use the F-word. The scary word to a business is “focus.” The key to building a brand is by
making choices. TNT is the first and only television network that decided to focus on drama and, by making this decision, to drop WCW, its highest rated program, TNT grew its audience loyalty by shrinking its focus.

        Place your bets.  See opportunities that other don’t. It’s possible to increase audience by eliminating the danglers. For example, 9 out of 10 television shows fail. TBS took on Tyler Perry’s show after extensive research. Turner thought that there was no good reason that this would work, but it did.

        Know your strengths. Know what you are, know what you’re not. Conan O’Brien transformed his identity from a traditional late night host to a multimedia hit because he adjusted to changing platforms and changing times.

        Don’t be afraid to fail. Every company has failures. Ideas are like disposable diapers – when they’re full of crap, throw them away.

        Serious work does not have to be serious. Work should be fun and you should enjoy every day you’re doing something. I use humor as a tool to manage people. Just because someone has a hammer doesn’t mean it should be flaunted. Treat people in the same way that you want to be treated, with kindness, respect and opportunity.

Koonin said, in a technologically advanced world, there have been major advancements in the way people interact and manage their media, and there is no ending in sight. “Creativity is the currency for the future,” Koonin said.