The Times They Are a' Changing

Since writing and launching The Big Book of HR, it's been an educational journey about the world of publishing and marketing. Barbara and I have entered a new industry in this phase of our professional lives. Publishing houses, agents, publicists, editors – all new in our world.

We recently spent a weekend in New York City attending a conference sponsored by Writer's Digest. The publishing industry is changing dramatically. Not surprising, technology is behind these changes. It is easy to publish a digital or e-book and if the book is good or has a good following, its writer can actually earn a living.

Publishers and agents are taking note and realizing they have to change as well. We heard of an author who had a successful e-book and was approached by several major publishing houses. With a savvy agent, he struck a deal with Simon & Shuster where he kept 100% of the rights to his digital version (translates to he keeps 100% of the profits from all the e- books sold) and a traditional deal for the print version (translates to the publisher makes most of the money for the print books sold). He was hoping to get their attention with the goal of influencing change for the future. He discovered the future is now.

This is revolutionary for the publishing industry. As newcomers with much to learn, it's the reality that Barbara and I are venturing into.

There are other changes in the media-related world. For many baby boomers, TV was the mainstay for entertainment in our households growing up. Broadcasters are now worried about Zero TV households. More and more people are foregoing cable and satellite TV service and don’t even use an antenna to get the free signals over the air. Rather, they are watching shows and movies on the Internet, sometimes via cell phone connections. Changes in technology and consumer behavior have had a significant impact on the TV broadcasting industry.

Zero TVers tend to be younger, single and without children. The industry is watching and monitoring their behaviors to determine whether they will change their behavior over time.

Can these changes be attributed solely to generational differences? Younger consumers are more tech savvy. Is the only definition of “generation” associated with chronological age? This child of the baby boom generation considers herself a new-generation author, embracing the publishing industry's new models as she figures out what's next.

Many changes challenge organizations and their leaders today. We speak about these changes when we speak to business and HR leaders and in interviews. How is your organization addressing these issues?

· Growing shortage of skilled workers
· Multiple generations at work
· Increase of contingent employees
· Globalization
· Technology & Communication
· Economic Factors

As for me, I took great pleasure while in my hotel room in New York City that I could still find CBS on channel 2, NBC on 4 and ABC on 7-- the broadcast stations of my youth. Thank goodness, some things never change!

1 comment ()

1. Mike DeBruhl wrote:

I enjoy your newsletter. Good info and your points about remaining flexible and open to change have never been more accurate than for today ! All industries are changing and we still have some folks who are either ill prepared for change.....or fight it.

I have seen that first hand as I consult with one of the few remaining textile ( yep, I said textile ) plants here in South Carolina. The plant was started in 1845 and is one of the few remaining specialty coating plants ( such as ironing board covers, boat covers, Sunbrella fabric for outdoors, tent materials, etc. ) in America.

What a change from dealing with predominatly White collar consulting challenges of the Government Contracting world ..... and a true learning experince for me. I love it, and enjoin your readers to stay flexible, open to new ideas, and have some fun doing it !!


May 14, 2013 @ 12:12 PM


Managing people is the most challenging part of any leader's day. And that job certainly is not getting any easier. The Big Book of HR will provide any HR professional, manager, or business owner of any size organization the information they need to get the most from their talent. It is filled with information on everything from the most strategic HR-related issues to the smallest tactical detail of how to manage people.