The Importance of Perspective

IT'S NO STARTLING REVELATION TO POINT OUT THAT THE RATE OF change in industry, especially technology-driven ones, is rapid, to say the least. New technologies, 2/01/2003 7:00 AM Eastern

The Importance of Perspective

Feb 1, 2003 12:00 PM, MARK MAYFIELD

IT'S NO STARTLING REVELATION TO POINT OUT THAT THE RATE OF change in industry, especially technology-driven ones, is rapid, to say the least. New technologies, companies, and business opportunities are surfacing almost daily — or so it seems when I check my e-mail inbox. What is striking is the difficulty people sometimes have in preparing for and accepting even minor degrees of change. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there is a correlation between the rate of technological progress in an industry and the turnover of its leaders. A recent study by Booz Hamilton Allen (a specialist in technology consulting) found that the average tenure of a CEO has declined from 9.5 years in 1995 to 7.3 years in 2001. Other research confirms that trend; Drake Beam Morin (DBM), a human-resources consulting firm, conducted the first global study about executive tenure during the past ten years. In every industry and country studied, DBM discovered that CEO turnover is rising and leadership changes are occurring more frequently.

Why does this happen? Probably for the same reason the people in this country elect a new president every four to eight years. Keeping up with the world demands that people continue to see the world and adapt to its constantly accelerating rate of change. It demands fresh perspective.

In our own industry, we need to keep pace with change in order to thrive in the wake of its chaos. This is where Sound & Video Contractor comes in. The most important role of a trade magazine is to present different viewpoints and perspectives on the important industry issues so that you can be better prepared to deal with change and to use it as a catalyst for the growth of businesses. This is the service S&VC hopes to provide.

The importance of maintaining perspective also applies to the editorial leadership of this magazine. In this 20th year of publication — and in light of the economic climate and corporate consolidations that affect all businesses — it's an appropriate time to take a new look at S&VC's editorial mission. I will devote my 23 years of industry perspective to that evolving mission.

Besides being a lifelong musician, I have spent my entire professional career in pro audio, first as a recording engineer and then moving into live sound mixing, sound systems installation (it wasn't actually called sound contracting in 1979, but that's what it was), and pro-audio sales. After graduate school in business, I went into product marketing and sales for several leading pro-audio manufacturers. In short, I have experienced this business from almost every angle. I plan to use that experience as a mirror to reflect the changes in the industry back to you.

But beyond simple reflection, S&VC will also offer projection — the forward-looking result of intelligently combining an understanding of where the industry has been and where it is, as well as interpreting the signs that point toward the industry's future. This is the genuine value S&VC will continue to provide for you.

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