In My Opinion: Courtnay McLeod: The CEO doesn’t tweet #notthepoint

‘ALL businesses increasingly need to function like a media company’ – it’s a mantra that defines our era, but what does it actually mean?

Accepting that businesses need to adapt and respond to media developments is easy, but understanding what the response should be is much harder.

For some organisations, it has triggered major investment with new departments and expensive consultants (ideally with ‘digital’, ‘converged’, ‘multiplatform’, ‘strategy’, ‘analyst’, ‘executive’ all in their titles).

Job done. Well, not quite.

An expensive response isn’t necessarily the right response. Media developments are so profound that what matters, what really matters, is that people in leadership roles completely understand what’s happening. So the CEO may never send a tweet and the vice-president has no desire to blog, but they all need to understand what it means. If not, they have a serious blind spot; making it impossible for them to see their business, customers and staff clearly.

So the real investment needs to be the commodity most precious to us all: time. And that time needs to be invested in the right way and crucially in the right place. Another PowerPoint session in the boardroom isn’t going to cut it. Executives require not just knowledge, but insight and confidence to maximise the opportunities out there.

With this in mind, Bauer’s Scottish Media Academy has partnered with Archerfield House in East Lothian to bring the best of two worlds together; excellent training in an inspiring setting.

It’s luxurious. Staff development has never felt this good, but that’s not what makes Archerfield the right fit for this executive enlightenment. It’s richness in scenery, architecture, wildlife and history combine to provide the most incredible backdrop for learning with ideal places for fresh thoughts in open minds.

And given media is all about storytelling, Archerfield is surprising relevant. The estate is crammed with fascinating tales, characters (Churchill, Mary Queen of Scott and Robert Louis Stephenson, to name a few) and locations including Fidra and the remains of an 11th century village. It is surprising how training for the future can hold hands perfectly with the past.

The partnership between the academy and Archerfield creates something unique and hugely relevant. What starts with benefits for the individual results in more confident and creative organisations; liberated by leadership that isn’t shielding eyes from the bright new world.

Courtnay McLeod is director of the Scottish Media Academy and regularly teaches broadcast journalism at various universities and colleges, with special interests in media convergence issues and broadcast writing styles.