Frankfurt, 16. March 2018 – The broadcast industry is racing to a turning point and already passed the point of no return. Broadcasting as we know with its silos television and radio is being hit by reality from outside their comfort zone. Wide Area Networks can now carry data transmission speed so fast, that it makes industry proprietary systems obsolete in many use cases.
Change has become inevitable.
Broadcast manufacturers Lawo, Rohde & Schwarz and Sony invited the industry to discuss the trends of the industry and what challenges arise with the introduction of an IP (Internet Protocol) infrastructure. There is little doubt in regards to the future of broadcasting facilities and that existing proprietary SDI technology will be replaced with IP over time.
The third “Technology Innovation Days” again has proved to be a platform, where industry experts from any profession can openly discuss the challenges. Broadcasters, manufacturer, educators, consultants and the press did not hold back to openly admit that answers to pressing questions are coming in slower than challenges grow.I had the honor to open the event with a talk about the differentiation between integration and implementation – making the case for Change Management. With the new technology it is no longer enough to put in IP and be happy about a smoothly running system. More than ever before with IP the success of a new system is depending the organization’s readiness for applying organizational change. IP infrastructure is delivering more questions than answers while there also is no doubt that there is no alternative to IP in long term planning.
Change Management can help answering the organizational development question. Change Management is most effective when applied beginning with the planning of a technical project. There is no reason to accept that today so many technology projects fail. They may fail despite the great work of system designers and engineers. They fail because organizations have not been prepared to deal with what’s new with IP. Coming from a legacy SDI infrastructure IP is not just a modernization, it may very well be a paradigm shift that can put employees in distress. Planning a change from an organizational point of view will cover this risk and thus help reaching managements economic goals that originally justified the investment in IP.
My CPC colleague Dirk Thater who also serves on the Board of ACMPs German Chapter provided a deep dive into Change Management as a closing session for day 1 of these “Technology Innovation Days 2018” and introduced the German Chapter of the Association of Change Management Professionals. Dirk received many “head nodding” when he shared his experience on failed projects and their causes. It was obvious, that a large share of the audience was familiar with implementations with insufficient benefit gaining. The key factors for a successful change management initiative as well as concrete leadership behavior in a change process met with the audience interests.
In my 25 years in the industry I cannot remember that a topic so far from engineering ever made it to be addressed with such great interest of the technology side of the broadcast industry.Both Dirk and I were very happy to notice how often the conversations at this year’s “Technology Innovation Days” referenced to the issue of Change and the human factor, e.g. what IP means for the individuals in organization.” We look forward to TID in 2019 and more valuable conversations in the meantime.
Author: Rainer Dunkel, Manager @CPC