After posting “The Inefficient Professionals”, within 24 hours I got over 400 views but only 2 comments L. I however spent a lot of time on my BlackBerry Messenger and WhatsApp responding to questions and attacks from friends, colleagues and industry heads. I must say, the blog was created based on the need to develop and manage artistes better and everything connected to it. And this includes the businesses representing and/or financing the artistes.
Please understand that I do not intend to enforce an ideology on people, but to encourage interaction. So please feel free to make comments and share your opinion on the topics posted here. Lets all discuss it. We have over 500 views now and I’m sure some of the readers have a few things to say.
I found out that some people didn’t understand what I was trying to achieve with that article. My plan was not to state the obvious but to challenge our current way of thinking. The major question the article aimed to ask creates a catch-22 situation… is it the chicken before the egg Or egg before the chicken?
Is it because we don't have structure that the basics in business are overlooked or disregarded or is the industry’s structure shaky because of lack of understanding and application of business basics and principles?
A friend asked me to summarize the article in two sentences. Here is my response…
First, there is very little efficiency and it is blamed on lack of structure of the music business rather than the lack of focus on the basics of business, and;
Second, Professionalism is merely an element of efficiency so to guarantee efficiency we need to focus on those basic business principles and activities… then do them right!
Building structure is HUGE investment and no one is willing to risk such funds. The problem of distribution alone causes headaches for industry stakeholders and artistes when they think about it. So, what do we do? How do we structure this industry? In The Inefficient Professional, Part 1, I highlighted the essence and importance of businesses in the industry and I will go a step further in this article.
We need to focus on the basics of business principles. An understanding of business processes like Lean Operations in your company’s operations strategy can go a long way in saving the company money, eliminating redundancy and increasing efficiency. This is quite long for some people so I have to give an example. In 2010, after working with Chocolate City and the Choc Boiz, I started Godwin Tom Talent Management and hired an assistant, Miss Harper. She had just gotten her Masters degree in HR so we both knew that wouldn’t last for too long. But in the short time we worked together, she was efficient and effective. She helped me create structure, schedules, filing, and she engaged in a lot of research… basically, I attended meetings and made decisions with adequate information. She was my only staff and I was able to pay without crying. At the time, my only client was AiRis. Then I started working with new clients and I lost my PA to… well, there were better offers. So I hired six people and I paid them relatively high for their services. I believed in investing in staff welfare and I felt I could do more with more people. However, certain things were not in place; I wasn’t ready for that load and I had not clearly defined to myself why I needed so many people in my system. Needless to say, the business didn’t last long with that plan, as I couldn’t continue to pay staff and operations cost crippled me…so I shut it down and went back to the drawing board. I took a leaf from businesses like EME and Clarence Peters’s Capital Dreams to build a loose system in a small structure and getting the most of the resources available. As a consultant to a few new entertainment businesses, this is one of the methods I advice… Eliminate WASTE!
I also advocate training. If so much money is invested or spent build a structure, where would the human resources to manage and run the industry come from? Especially if people don’t know what exactly they are meant to do? We would be jumping the gun on that one and ultimately aiming for a system that would fail.
My point? No one would say it better than my friend Jude... “Sometimes, structure means systemizing what you do everyday. In fact, that is what structuring actually refers to”
In other words, how is information distributed in your company? How do you interact with Clients? How do you identify that a member of staff has achieved anything during the week or during the day? How do you monitor expenses? What policies do you have in place and how do you ensure they are not compromised?
All these things affect how you engage in activities with your target market, media and possibly, investors. Once, we can answer these questions and a few others, things would start to change for good, making it easy to build structure
So we don't need to invest to build structure… We need to analyze, document and Understand what the Nigerian process is and create practical solutions to make the process more effective for all of us.
Everyone is waiting for the industry to become structured, forgetting that structure is built from businesses addressing a fundamental issue of basic business principles and activities.
Remember, the purpose of the blog isn't to force an ideology… But to encourage interactions
I would like to thank Jude, Audu, Bimbo, Doyin, Tosin, Doosuur, Moses, and everyone who contributed, asked questions and advised.
Feel free to share your views… Other articles coming soon include
The Wrong Questions...
What the heck is a talent manager?
If the radio stations paid Royalties...
The LPSRW Series
The Clueless "CEO"
The Artist and The Manager: The Classic Love Story.