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.