I don't watch a lot of television and shockingly, I don't have cable at home. I see what I need to with a Netflix subscription and a digital converter box at home. However, I do see snippets of programming in passing at the studio where we have 200+ channels of DirecTV. One show that has captured my attention is Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (the UK version) that is shown on the BBC America channel. The appeal of the show to me is how Gordon Ramsay, a successful restaurateur and chef, forcefully points out some of the basic principles of business management that is critically lacking in failing restaurants he visits.
Watching how restaurants are run, even as small as a two-person operation, you can see a microcosm of all the things a business has to deal with and do well. The show offers insights on leadership, teamwork, delegation, communications, streamlined operations, quality control, customer service, market research, product mix, differentiation, marketing, promotion, entrepreneurial spirit, change management...etc. The resistance to change that Gordon encounters, even when the restaurant is on the brink of bankruptcy, is fascinating to watch. If a small, handful of people dig their heels in and refuse to change their ways even when they are about to lose their livelihood, imagine what a large corporation has deal with when management wants to enact change in strategy, organization, mind set, ...etc., especially if the employees are too comfortable. I can attest to how difficult that can be having personally witnessed it working at Sony for many years.
There are plenty of lessons here that are valuable and should spur you to take a closer look at how you are running your own studio. Making changes against status quo is always a challenge, especially if you have been doing things a certain way for a while. If this economy does not force you to review everything about your business, the large scale changes occurring in the music industry will certainly test your business acumen, adaptability and resolve in running any kind of recording studio today. The small tweaks suggested in Ramsay's show may not be enough to weather large tidal changes. It makes you wish for a show called "Studio Nightmares" except I think we are operating under conditions much tougher than what restaurants are facing. It might be time to think outside the box of the box.