Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Retail Reports a "Dearth of Talent"

Today’s Wall Street Journal (August 1, 2007) featured an article claiming the “retail industry is suffering a dearth of talent.”

“Often, what retailing experts are talking about when they talk about lack of
talent is a growing – some would say excessive - reliance on management skills.
As in industries ranging from Hollywood to Silicon Valley to Wall Street,
tension has always existed…between creative types – merchants – and bean
counters: managers. In recent years, managers have gained the upper hand as
Wal-Mart-driven efficiencies…have pushed an ever-growing percentage of American retail space into warehouses touting little more than low price."

Similar “dearth of talent” laments certainly aren’t uncommon in our industry either.

As PDs spend more time in the “management” mode, it’s increasingly important that we help them set aside creative time so they can make full use the right side of their brains as well as their left.

Because the roles of programmers require both analytic and creative skills, let’s hire accordingly. And, having done so, let’s insure that our “whole brain” thinkers build into their schedules time to think creatively, time to translate those thought into actions so that magic can happen on the air, time to coach and cultivate personalities who enhance the magic, and time to create a station that listeners and advertisers put on their “must hear/must have” lists.

In the parlance of the WSJ, let’s help our programmers be both the creative “merchant” as well as the managerial “bean counter.”
“’s worth remembering…that Sam Walton was an exquisite merchant. He staged donkey rides at newly opened stores.”

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