Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Sifton's agenda

Sun Media chief Michael Sifton has created a "set of values" designed to shape "the future course" of Canada's largest media chain.

If practiced, much of his stated agenda, outlined Monday in a memo to employees, will simply return Sun Media to the positive and prosperous mood of the first 21 years under the guidance of Doug Creighton et al.

Before the boardroom back-stabbers ousted Creighton a year before his scheduled retirement and before Quebecor's disastrous cutbacks at the successful tabloids.

Back to the days when the Toronto Sun was ranked as one of the Top 100 Canadian companies for employees.

A return to those proud and productive years can't come too soon, so let's hope the Sifton memo will continue the reversal of almost nine years of Quebecor disruption.

The Sifton release:

"Values, Purpose Shape Sun Media Culture

Sun Media President and CEO Mike Sifton has worked with managers to develop a Purpose and Values to shape the way the company operates.

Sun Media has a set of Values that will shape the present and future course of the company as it strives to realize its Purpose, which is to “help connect and build better communities.”

Besides agreeing on a Purpose for the company, senior managers, working with President and CEO Mike Sifton, whittled down a long list of concepts into five key Values for the organization: Integrity, Courage, Collaboration, Respect and Spirit.

“Values are the most important elements of a corporate culture because they truly shape everything else,” says Sifton. “Everyone needs to make sure that we reflect these in our daily activities, and in our plans for the years ahead.

"By applying the Values to everything we do, and by testing what we do against the values, we will have a successful organization that delivers the best possible results. For example, Sun Media will be recognized as an employer of choice for talented people.”

Based on input and discussion by scores of managers across the company, Sun Media’s Values are:

Integrity: This means honest and fair relationships among all employees of the company and in our dealings with customers and consumers.

Courage: Sun Media’s people must have the courage to make decisions, whether it means breaking with the established business model for a different approach, sticking to a controversial editorial position or following through on a commitment to other employees or our business partners.

Collaboration: Sun Media works best when people share their experience and knowledge to help one another and extend this concept to other parts of the organization, whether they are under the same roof or in another location.

Respect: People need and deserve respect for their integrity, their contributions to the business, and as individuals. Respect is manifested in many ways, from listening to the ideas of others to considering the effects on others of decisions or actions we take.

Spirit: The esprit de corps at Sun Media will reflect an attitude of confidence in our ability to succeed as well as pride and satisfaction in our achievements. It’s teamwork and a sense of fun in working together.

“I am committed to making these Values part of the way we do business,” says Sifton. “This is not an exercise in paying lip service to concepts that have no bearing on reality. We can and we will make the most practical application of these Values in everything we do.”

End of memo.

The Doug Creighton/Peter Worthington/Don Hunt method of running a newspaper didn't require a manifesto memo - it all came from the heart and from decades of newspaper experience.

But whatever works to make the Sun shine for decades to come.

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