The media industry is a business environment that is shaped by constant change and rapid developments of trends, waves and  disruption. A key element that drives the success of media companies is how resilient they are. How they can manage the ups and downs of this industry and deal with failure. How they can create comebacks and manage to learn from crisis.  The most successful companies in media show certain resilience in their corporate gens. While there is not yet a lot of research done in this area, we can nevertheless identify a few key traits that resilient companies demonstrate.

These are the key competencies and skills a resilient business must have:

  • The ability to deal with risk and willingness to accept risk as part of the game.
  • A certain level of playfulness when engaging in the industry paired with humor.
  • A reliable network of partners and relationships inside and beyond the media industry.
  • A strong corporate culture that fosters the above skills and competencies and that works as a linchpin for a diverse workforce.
  • Some very special skills and talent in the organization or in its product or services, that are based on creativity  and that are having an appeal to the market at any given time.
  • Furthermore, resilient companies can very well define realistic goals with a certain level of optimistic zeal. 
  • They also show a very strong belief system that their products, services and business at large  creates meaningful value for its clients and employees.
  • Last but not least, such companies are willing to improvise. They do not dwell on finding the perfect solution but are ok with having a workable solution: they are focused on opportunities and find creative ways to address these.

This is a very rough list and we could write at length about each element and its implications. However, let us focus on how you can develop such traits in your company instead. Companies are always a learning organization – and especially resilient companies demonstrate a high capability in learning new methods and being adaptive to the environment.

We have a list of of learnings how you can create more resilience in your organization:


  1. Foster relationship and alliances: Build reliable, honest relationship with business partners. When you have such relationship with suppliers, clients, stakeholders, etc you have a network that can support you when times get tough. Look also beyond your immediate business segment for relationships to find inspiration and assistance from partners that you would not necessarily go to at first.
  2. Always learn: whenever your organization fails in something, you must look at the lessons learned. In each crisis there is an opportunity, in each lost pitch the chance to make the next one better. Constant learning must be a key part of your corporate culture.
  3. Be an Optimist: ensure that your company, your team and close partners have an optimistic attitude. Do not fall for unrealistic goals, but rather focus on the achievable. Celebrate small successes when times are rough; do not give up when you hit a roadblock. Let negative outlooks only guide you to choose the right path, but not influence you. Be a strong believer in your product and people.
  4. Be proactive: it is important that you learn to take leadership. Do not wait for others to decide over the fate of your company. When you see trouble looming ahead, act early to avoid or diminish it. Stay your ground; as this will enforce your belief in the strength of your company. When you fall mercy of others, you have given up control. Hence, always be proactive, even in smallest of steps.
  5. Embrace change. When you dislike change, you should not be in media. Accept change and the ups and downs of the industry as a crucial part of this business. People and organizations who are open to change and embrace it as part of their company culture, are much more likely to come out strengthened from any failure.

Resilience will not be an instant result, it rather requires constant nurturing and development. You as a company leader must stay alert and mindful on what trends impact your industry and how you can be prepared for them. You must also stay positive if things do not turn out as you have planned. This industry is a lot about trial and error. Make it part of your strategy and you will last long in this industry.


When you want to learn which trends shape the TV industry, you can read some of my thoughts here.