21 Sep 2009

Harvard Business School Program To Help Media Executives Identify Growth Opportunities In Rapidly Changing Industry

Technological innovation in the media industry can lead to growth if seen through lens of the consumer

BOSTON— September 21, 2009 - Harvard Business School (HBS) today announced plans to offer its executive education program for media executives, Effective Strategies for Media Companies, in California this year. The program, slated to begin in December, will address the major issues facing media and entertainment companies and bring together senior media executives from across sectors in an interactive discussion about technology, strategy and innovation in the industry.

The media industry is undergoing extraordinary change, but widely aired fears about shifting consumer preferences should be tempered by the opportunities that accompany new technologies and customer demands.

"Technology is an incredible change-agent for the media industry, and a topic that is very important to the participants of Effective Strategies," said Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Professor of Business Administration and Co-Chair of the Effective Strategies for Media Companies program. "We look at innovation in the media industry in a positive way, identifying new opportunities for companies and executives to benefit from this fast-changing marketplace."

"In the program, we study industry leaders such as Apple, The Economist, Facebook and Schibsted to help participants understand how these companies took innovative approaches and applied them in a way that appealed to their customers."

The program will examine technology, consumers and new roles for the corporate office. How media companies can get paid for their content is a key concern in the face of disruptive technologies.

Oberholzer-Gee points out that technology is often analyzed through its functionality rather than through the experience of the end-user.

"When assessing whether new technologies are going to be successful, threaten or complement their business, companies often become distracted by a focus on their potential uses rather than viewing technologies through the lens of the consumer to assess possible impact."

For instance, how consumers use new electronic reading devices such as the Kindle will reveal if this technology will enhance or impair the publishing industry by extending access to reading material.

Participants will also bring the insights developed at the program to their own organizations.

"It is important to realize that there's no one winning approach, no 'magic bullet' for success," said Bharat Anand, Professor of Business Administration and Co-Chair of the Effective Strategies for Media Companies program. "There are a huge variety of strategic choices and pricing models available to today's media companies, but those that have succeeded have crafted unique strategies that work for their company and, most importantly, their customers."

"We want participants to take lessons from the program and apply them to the challenges they face in their own companies as the future of the media industry unfolds."

By learning about a wide range of successful business models applied by other media companies, participants will discover how they might craft strategies that will work to achieve their own organizations' goals.

Effective Strategies for Media Companies will run from December 2 - 5, 2009 and will take place at the Ritz-Carlton in Halfmoon Bay, California.

Please visit http://www.exed.hbs.edu/programs/medc/ for complete curriculum details and to apply.

Program Information for Effective Strategies for Media Companies

Course Curriculum:

    The program addresses four themes: the evolution of technology, changes in customer behavior, strategies and new business models, and leading organizational change for innovation.

    Bharat N. Anand, Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration. Member of the Strategy Unit; and faculty co-chair of "Effective Strategies for Media Companies: Leading in Turbulent Environments."

    Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Andreas Andresen Professor of Business Administration. Member of the Strategy Unit; faculty chair of "Business Strategy for Partners in Law Firms"; faculty co-chair of the "Senior Executive Program for China" and "Effective Strategies for Media Companies."

    Peter W. Olson, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration. Member of the Strategy Unit. Former Chairman and CEO of Random House.

    Mikołaj Jan Piskorski, Assistant Professor of Business Administration. Member of the Strategy Unit.

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.