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We live in a world of rapid change and evolution. Every industry is faced with the challenge of keeping up with the pace that consumers are setting in today’s connected economy. Automation, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, big data and other such buzzwords are reshaping how we live our lives, the human experience and who we are as consumers. Today, human attention might be the scarcest resource on the planet.
If you work in the marketing, advertising or media businesses, you likely find yourself asking how you and your clients plan to reinvent to keep pace with the rate of change. Whether your organization is five, 25 or 130 years old, you are asking yourself this question — or at least I hope you are.
At our company, Katz Media Group, we’ve been really drilling into this paradigm of who we are and what defines us. For us, the answer lies where we began. We step away from the products we sell and the services we provide to our partners and look all the way back through our company’s heritage and purpose when it was founded. It started with remembering, not reinventing.
Identify Your Original Purpose
Every organization should have a well-defined purpose and belief system, and the best ones don’t have to spend too much time grasping to articulate it. In the hustle of everyday business, we tend to get caught up in our current product and service offerings, but these are just tactical tools to deliver on the greater objective. Remember what that greater objective is.
Katz was founded over 130 years ago by an entrepreneur named Emanuel Katz who wanted to help East Coast-based companies connect with West Coast consumers in their local communities. At the time, he did that by representing newspapers and traveling back and forth to sell print ads to companies on the other side of the country. As simple as this sounds, it was a herculean task at the time. Through our recent rebranding process, we were reminded that Katz’s core purpose has always been to create local impact for brands with the scalability to deliver national influence.
Build A Purpose-Driven Culture
Once a company gains clarity and remembers its purpose, it must resonate throughout all aspects of the organization. This is an incredible opportunity to create momentum across the corporate culture. Building a purpose-driven culture is no small task and involves constant communication and interaction.
At this very moment, Katz is re-energizing its culture. It is an exciting, infectious and exhausting process. Every interaction across our organization is a moment to shift our culture to be more purpose-driven. Leaders can’t just speak about purpose; they must embody it. Purpose-driven leaders are not defined by title, but by actions, passion and vision. No matter what your role is, you can be a purpose-driven leader if you make the choice to attack the mission with passion.
Deliver On Your Promise
As you remember your purpose, you realize it is not about reinventing but about striving to deliver on that unified goal even better tomorrow than you did today. If you want your organization to be transcendent, then your purpose should be, too. This will create a culture where your team is constantly pushing itself to find better ways to deliver on that promise. An entrepreneur might have founded your organization, but it will take intrapreneurs to drive the engine of the future.
You don’t reinvent because outside forces are a threat or change is swirling all around you. And you certainly don’t do it based on what a competitor is doing. You reinvent because you are driven by a unified vision.
Now that we are refocused on our purpose — building national influence through local connection — our team is seeing every conversation refocus. We are challenging each other to be better. We are looking for opportunities to innovate and disrupt how we deliver our value proposition every day because it is not just a job; it is our mission. Today is an opportunity to deliver on our vision better than yesterday. Becoming more purpose-driven is a powerful and humbling experience to be a part of.
This might sound soft and cliché. You may think you need a more substantive approach to reinvent your organization or team because culture and purpose are just buzzwords. You can try another approach, but my gut tells me you will be back at the drawing board in 18 months looking to reinvent once again. Look back at the DNA of your organization. Remember your purpose, and let that be what drives you forward.