Friday, January 15, 2010

Avoiding Your Own Conan Situation

The late night airways have broken down into Jay Leno fans or "I'm With CoCo". NBC has decided to ditch Conan on The Tonight Show and move Jay Leno back to that time slot. This has caused a lot of animosity and bad public relations for NBC including an open airing of grievances by Conan towards his network and bosses.. But could this have all been avoided? The answer is probably "yes".

Harvard Business Review has some tips on how to avoid the Conan mistake. Although their comparison of the situation to Hideki Matsui's with the Yankees is totally off (Matsui was a free agent without a contract without any promises of future employment or promotion), the advice they give in the middle of the article is good for Human Resources professionals to take with them. The three main points of advice in the article are "avoid defensive talent strategies, place big talent bets, and diversify succession risk". Some pretty great advice there.

Gruntled Employee (a great name for a blog) talks about the situation further and said that Conan's statement put him ahead of his employer and it's shown to be true throughout the whole situation.

And, lastly, the rest of the late night hosts take aim at NBC, including, most amazingly, that second clip with Jimmy Kimmel taking down Jay Leno.

This is not a good situation for NBC, but the whole thing could have been avoided with some patience and smart PR.

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