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Why Working at Hearst is Much Better than Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Why Working at Hearst is Much Better than Houghton Mifflin

Hearst is a $5 bil­lion dol­lar 130 Year young media com­pa­ny that has suc­cess­ful­ly trans­formed itself into a dig­i­tal pow­er­house.  They have over 300 jobs open many of which are in the new dig­i­tal econ­o­my.

85% of the employ­ees approve of the CEO and 2/3 would rec­om­mend work­ing there to a friend.  This com­pares with only 50% of the $2 bil­lion Houghton Mif­flin com­pa­ny employ­ees lik­ing what their CEO is doing and being will­ing to rec­om­mend work­ing there to a friend.

Houghton Mif­flin Har­court, found­ed as Houghton Mif­flin in 1832, is a US edu­ca­tion­al and trade pub­lish­er. Houghton Mif­flin Har­court pub­lish­es text­books, instruc­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy mate­ri­als, assess­ments, ref­er­ence works, and fic­tion and non-fic­tion for both young read­ers and adults.

Found­ed in 1887 in San Fran­cis­co, The Hearst Cor­po­ra­tion owns 15 dai­ly and 34 week­ly news­pa­pers, includ­ing the Hous­ton Chron­i­cle, San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle, San Anto­nio Express-News and Albany Times Union; hun­dreds of mag­a­zines around the world, includ­ing Good House­keep­ing, Cos­mopoli­tan, ELLE and O, The Oprah Mag­a­zine; 29 tele­vi­sion sta­tions, which reach a com­bined 18 per­cent of U.S. view­ers; own­er­ship in lead­ing cable net­works, includ­ing Life­time, A&E, HISTORY and ESPN; sig­nif­i­cant hold­ings in auto­mo­tive, elec­tron­ic and medical/pharmaceutical busi­ness infor­ma­tion com­pa­nies; a major­i­ty stake in glob­al rat­ings agency Fitch Group; Inter­net and mar­ket­ing ser­vices busi­ness­es; tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion; news­pa­per fea­tures dis­tri­b­u­tion; and real estate.

In 2010 Hearst launched Hearst Inno­va­tion, a com­pa­ny-wide pro­gram designed to be a cat­a­lyst for busi­ness growth, cre­ativ­i­ty and com­mu­ni­ca­tion through­out the Cor­po­ra­tion. Key objec­tives of the ini­tia­tive were to cre­ate new busi­ness­es, increase col­lab­o­ra­tion and to encour­age a cul­ture of inno­va­tion.

Philip Wis­er, CTO of Hearst, states that the biggest prob­lem hold­ing back inno­va­tion, the lack of agili­ty, is caused by mis­un­der­stand­ings with­in the orga­ni­za­tion. Often, these mis­un­der­stand­ings result from adher­ing to con­ven­tion and restric­tions with­in a lega­cy com­pa­ny.

Wis­er cites 5 key dri­vers of inno­va­tion with­in Hearst:

  1. Cus­tomer Focus
  2. Cloud com­put­ing
  3. Data
  4. Tal­ent
  5. Agili­ty

Wis­er stat­ed that one of the board mem­bers at Hearst shared his vision for an agile envi­ron­ment. Hav­ing the go ahead from senior man­age­ment is key, and that allows for an inno­v­a­tive envi­ron­ment.

“Walk in with an idea of the mar­ket, prod­uct con­cept, and a pro­to­type. And build it before you go through all that deep analy­sis.”

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