Earlier today, Joanna wrote that publishers need to keep innovating in today’s environment. An important step to doing that could be realigning their business culture to make innovation easier, or even possible at all. At the beginning of August, the Yale Publishing Course in Hartford, Connecticut is going to try to show them how to do that. Book Business Magazine has spoken with Carolyn Pittis, one of the YPC faculty, about why the insights gleaned in this course could be crucial to the publishing business.
Pittis explains that new digital and social media technologies are frequently embraced by only a handful of employees at a given publisher, which means it’s hard to plan strategically if only a few employees have the expertise. Adjusting corporate culture can be important because if the corporate culture isn’t aligned with its business strategy, they could work at cross purposes.
Taking surveys and setting appropriate goals can help companies assess and change their culture. And that can be important because corporate cultures often have a disconnect between their employees’ day-to-day activities and the measure of success for their company. In some cases it can be hard to tell who the most valuable employees are because many publishing activities such as author development are largely invisible within the company as a whole.
Having a more cohesive corporate culture could help publishers figure out ways to innovate more readily. And perhaps that’s what they need to do to keep up in this new digital world, rather than keep living in the past when print books were everything. Still, I suspect it will probably take more than a one-week training seminar to turn the industry around.
Registration for YPC closes July 1.