On the Executive Grapevine website, the publishers proudly state: “Our core value is to create an outstanding user experience for all our clients, readers, and employees.”
As a guiding principle, that’s hard to beat. If a publisher fulfils that commitment, they will, assuming a viable market and sound financial management, be successful. How could they not be?
Helen Fish, group chief executive of Executive Grapevine, expounded on this in our latest podcast.
Listening to Helen discuss her company’s past, present and future, four things about her approach stood out:
- She doesn’t stand still. Helen puts great store by innovation and creativity and believes that publishers should be continually searching for improvement: “I’ve never believed in relaunches; for me, change happens daily.”
- She trusts her judgement. Business leaders have to trust their judgement and be swift to act: “If you see something that’s not quite right, fix it; if you see an opportunity, grab it.”
- She surrounds herself with great people. It’s important to employ people whose expertise in their field exceeds yours. Great leaders should nurture and welcome excellence within their teams and never feel threatened by it.
- She knows her readers. Helen says she has always invested heavily in research and knowing who her readers are, because “you can’t have great products and ideas unless you know who you are reaching out to”.
In terms of takeaways, the only one that made me briefly pause was # 2, because if a leader has poor judgement, then, err, maybe they shouldn’t be too swift to act on it. Then again, if they’ve met the other three criteria, then the chances are that their judgement is pretty sound.
You can catch James Evelegh’s regular column in the InPubWeekly newsletter, which you can register to receive here.