Read a very interesting article in the New York Times about the downward spiral of the Chicago Tribune.
Then Fast Company piled on describing the culture at the Tribune as being that of "Frat Boys". From the FC piece:
"That's how I felt yesterday as I read a front-page account in The New York Times of Sam Zell's reign of error at the Tribune Company, and of the absurd frat-house culture that his executive group has inflicted upon a once-great (albeit deeply troubled) institution. That Zell's much-ballyhooed takeover of the Tribune has not worked out is beyond dispute. The company is in bankruptcy, more than 4,200 employees have lost their jobs, and its flagship editorial properties (including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune) are shadows of their former selves."
I spent two years working at the Chicago Tribune over 10 years ago, (my first job working in Chicago). Here's what neither article tell you about how the Tribune may have ended up with a "frat-house culture". The Tribune like many big established organizations had begun showing signs of a "culture of complacency" long ago. Sure there were pockets of innovation. I got to work in one. There were also high standards of journalism. But there was something else. There was a lack of foresight into the extreme changes that were to come in the media industry. There were some employees simply putting in their time. "Lifers", were what they were referred to as. The early warning signs were already showing their cracks.
I recently gave a talk about trends organizations can't ignore and I referenced what I like to call "the amoeba economy". More on that later, but essentially what it reflects is the rapid pace of change in today's networked world which gives upstarts the advantage and puts established institutions on the defensive.
There's no room for cultures of complacency in the amoeba economy. And if you think your job is set for life, I'd think again.