Old School vs. Innovative Management Styles

Old School vs. Innovative Management Styles

By Geoff De Weaver, CEO + Founder Touchpoint Entertainment Inc.


Humans have been buying, selling, marketing and trading both goods and services for over a millennium. Over that entire period, we have always believed that a single unit of a given product or service could be used by only one customer at a time. And, to sell more products or services you need to make more, sell and market more.

Obviously, this meant any increase in production required a proportionate increase in marketing, labor, resources, equipment and tech. While volume advantages and economies of scale did translate into lower average costs per unit, ‘Old Schoolers’ have never really been able to substantially reduce their average marketing costs.

BUT…in this era of Digital Disruption, innovation and shifting paradigms – which I will call living in ‘The Age of Unicorns’ – companies like: Uber, Airbnb, Xiaomi, Palantir, Snapchat, Flipkart, SpaceX, Dropbox, etc – all are driving prices to zero by reframing their world so that multiple customers can simultaneously use digital goods, which can be replicated at a zero marginal cost.

From the Music Industry, Sporting Industry, Marketing and Communication Industry through to the telecommunications sector, financial services, retail, education, health care sector, transportation, automotive along with other industries sectors still continue to try and built their organizations using traditional ‘Old School’ models.

However, in the Age of Unicorns, more Fortune 500’s need to reframe their business models and prevailing modes of value creation and innovation, if they are going to survive in the Age of Disruption.

Today’s fastest growing start-ups and most successful companies skirt constraints and exploit unseen possibilities with bold new innovative business models.

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Here’s my list of “old school” practices you need to immediately ‘phase out” if you are to succeed in this new Age of Disruption:

  1. Out: Micro-management, or the need to control every aspect of your company. Trying to lock customers in from ‘Cradle to Grave”   In: Empowerment, the ability to give your people some rope–even rope to make mistakes without blame. Turning long-held core beliefs in the industry on its ear with a new underlying belief.
  1. Out: Management by walking around the office; it is no longer enough to be visible.  In: Leadership by watching and listening, engaging in conversation, innovating, implementing the ideas presented to you, and distributing the results.
  1. Out: Pretending you know everything. You don’t have all the answers, so why try to make people think you do?  In: Knowing your leadership team members and trusting them. Choose great people who have the right skills and fit the culture. Then get out of the way. #CultureWins
  1. Out: No mistakes, or a “no tolerance policy” some still think works.  In: Learning from mistakes, or being the first to admit an error.
  1. Out: The balance sheet drives the business, and informs all other decisions.  In: People drive the business, boosting customer loyalty, and profit.
  1. Out: Job competency is sufficient. Do the job asked, and you’ll survive.  In: Recruit “A” players who will go the extra mile. They’re out there.
  1. Out: Invest in technology to increase productivity.  In: Invest in people.
  1. Out: Demand change; be very specific about what you want and when.  In: Nurture change; so that your people can come up with the best ideas and you can give them credit for it.
  1. Out: Fried food, soft drinks full of sugar in the cafeteria.  In: Wellness in the workplace.
  1. Out: Incentives; pay employees more money and they’ll do more.  In: Rewards; being valued matters more than money. Dogs at office, extended paternity/maternity leave
  1. Out: Cradle to grave loyalty.  In: Empowering loyal customers e.g. provide customers with tools  and expertise they need to build what they want.
  1. Out: Male dominated Boards, Advisory Boards and Management Roles.  In: Diversity – more women in high profile positions such as Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube, IBM, HP, Oracle, Apple, etc.

Yahoo made headlines in the summer of 2012, when Marissa Mayer became its first female CEO, especially interesting when you consider Yahoo’s global workforce is 62% male, 37% female, and 1% un-disclosed. And, for “non-tech” jobs, Yahoo actually has more female employees than male. And, we all think Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is an awesome role model, but also as a voice for female empowerment in the workplace as the author of the 2013 best-selling book Lean In.

Bottom-line, Diversity is a hot topic among innovative tech companies e.g. Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. More and more, companies are no longer making excuses but rather taking actionable steps to become more diverse in terms of both gender and ethnicity.

So ask yourself which of these out-of-date ‘Old School’ practices your organisation is still using. And remember, the Age of Disruption is here and now – there’s no time like now to try something new.


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More About Geoff De Weaver:

Hailing from New York;  Geoff De Weaver is the driven, passionate and charismatic entrepreneur, lifestyle guru behind Touchpoint Entertainment Inc. Geoff is a catalyst for change, business coach, digital provocateur, paradigm shifter and a strategist for success.

As a CEO + Founder of Touchpoint Entertainment, Geoff is always on the lookout for the latest business innovation, sporting trends, music trends and for the latest ways to engage with people; from mobile and streaming technologies, to live events, music, sports marketing, entertainment and customer/fan experience.

Geoff has a global 25-year background of representing some of the world’s most iconic worldwide brands including: Coca Cola, IBM, IMG, P&G, Microsoft, Nike, British Airways, Wells Fargo, EA Sports, MasterCard, Shutterfly.com, EA.com, E*Trade, Nestle, Air France, AT&T, VISA, Unilever, EA.com, Ferrari, American Express, P&G, Trend Micro, Acer Computers, BMW, Shutterfly.com, Mars, Pfizer, TiVo, EarthLink Internet, American Express, Telstra and others.

  • Top 0.5% Worldwide on Twitter Globally
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  • Geoff is a Digital Pioneer, Data-Driven, Entrepreneur, Business Coach + Innovator.

Feel free to get in touch with Geoff for further information:







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