Believe it or not, the 207-year old publisher Wiley (known
for publishing Edgar Allen Poe) is familiar with the concept of ‘I don’t know.’
This concept isn’t always easy to bring about in organization that has Nobel Prize
winners and authors. The question is a tricky one because getting people in our
organization to admit when they don’t know something isn’t easy.
But, according to David Jastrow, director of Market Research
at Wiley, by thinking like a child, you can get your organization to operate in
a way that opens up new channels and doors.
For decades, Wiley started off focusing on production. Then in
the 90s, as the digital transformation began, the world started to change to focus
on the quality of products. So, Wiley really thought about how to move its print
journals into the digital domain.
‘Today, the focus has to be all about the customers. If it’s
not, our very survival is at risk,’ explained Jastrow. ‘It’s not always easy to
move into a new direction. It’s a profound change.’
So, here’s what Wiley did to change their business.
How to change the
course of a 207-year old company:
- Stop pushing projects and start solving problems.
- Good ideas must be validated before solutions are built.
- Put customers’ needs first.
‘We don’t change to make it different, we change to make it
better.’ ‘ Steve Smith, CEO of Wiley
About the Author:
Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and
print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing,
and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs
including Next Big Design, Customers 1st, Digital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business
Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,.
She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where
she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.
This article here at Business Week shows the recent success Stephenie Meyer has seen with building a community around her vampire saga Twilight. With an estimated 1.3 copies of the latest book sold over the weekend, it’s hard not to take a look at the online community that the author has built for her books. The publishing industry, who has long suffered with adapting to the Web 2.0 world should look at the model Meyer built.
When the site provided by Little Brown was not sufficient, Meyer took to creating her own light hearted website at StephenieMeyer.com, where she would let readers know what was going on with the writing of the novels and about her family. She also took time to interact with her fans, answering questions about the books and letting them know about what was going on in her family. From there, it progressed to MySpace, online discussion groups and Amazon. Now it’s progressed to fan supported communities like Twilight Lexicon and Twilight Moms. Finding a way to connect with your customers, or your fan base, can propel your business into new areas.
With the publishing industry slowing, 247,777 books published in 2002 to 411,422 books published in 2007, with $41 billion in revenue that hasn’t grown significantly, they should find a way to bottle this success and spread it to other authors. Some are already taking the step, with sites popping up around Freakonomics, The Four Hour Work Week, and The Last Lecture. Will the publishing industry react and build up the community Meyer and others are beginning to build?