Magazine article Personnel Journal

The Adrenaline of Change

Magazine article Personnel Journal

The Adrenaline of Change

Article excerpt

CHANGE--AND I DON'T MEAN PENNIES, NICKels and dimes--has been on my mind lately. There are good reasons for that, starting with the fact that I'm just beginning a new job. In mid-October, I was promoted to the position of publisher of PERSONNEL JOURNAL.

It's an exciting opportunity for me. It means that in addition to having responsibility for editorial, I also have responsibility for the magazine's other functions: advertising, circulation and production. It means that I have the chance to develop a vision for the future and then to see that vision take form throughout the organization. It means that, whatever or wherever the problem, the buck stops here. It means that I have the opportunity to learn and test new skills even as I draw upon my 10-plus years of experience with the magazine. It means that I now have an obligation to think about business issues in a way that's even more in synch with how all of you think about business issues because, for the first time, I'm responsible for financial performance. It means that things are changing.

Right now I'm in my honeymoon period of happy naivete, in which all things seem possible and ideas are more plentiful than the time to implement them. This mindset is, I think, a natural defense mechanism used by most people facing fresh challenges. It helps to distract you from the enormity of the tasks at hand, and to insulate you from the reality that it will not be easy--or even desirable--to implement every idea that you have.

It also helps to postpone the inevitable confrontation with that old devil, reality, which I know is lurking and is not friendly. In our business, reality is taking many forms. To begin with, the hype about the Information Superhighway has a lot of people wondering whether there's a future for printed information sources. I firmly believe there is, but I recognize that the role of print may be changing. Those who best anticipate that changing role will win the game. We also must face the same marketing challenges that dog other industries: market segmentation, consumer sophistication and increasing competition. And, of course, there are mundane business realities--such as rising postal costs--to consider.

The issues are daunting, but I believe we're ready to meet them. There are many reasons for my confidence, including a solid management structure, clear goals, effective measurement techniques and, after more than 70 years, a solid history of keeping pace with the changing HR market. …

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