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Case Study: KVIE Channel 6 -- Defining and Achieving Strategic Objectives

“SEE Strategies led our management team through an important strategic evaluation. This critical building block enabled our organization to channel our efforts more strategically, and helped provide essential focus.”
---Julie Saqueton, CFO, KVIE Channel 6, Sacramento, CA

Some pretty amazing things can happen during a dynamic strategic planning process. When the process is going well, a level of meaningful clarity will be attained. This clarity allows planning participants to see things differently, create different approaches, make powerful and insightful decisions. With clarified focus in one problem area, the path can be cleared to find critical solutions in other areas of importance.

The Problem
The board of directors for KVIE, Sacramento’s public television station, adopted their strategic plan in March, 2003. By October 2004 they were well on their way toward achieving two of their stated objectives within their specified timeframe. However, they had made no progress at all with their third objective, Investing In What’s New. In 2000 the Federal Communications Commission mandated the transition to full digital broadcasting for commercial television stations by 2002, and public television stations by 2003. The Board had made this conversion the most detailed item in their plan, with phases, incubation strategies, initiatives, workforce implications, and timeframe. Making no progress, they engaged SEE Strategies.

SEE Strategies’s Approach & Implementation
Working with the KVIE Thought Leaders (senior management team), SEE Strategies facilitated two strategic planning sessions to help clarify and further define what this objective meant to the station and how it would be implemented. This evaluative process was essential in dissecting what accomplishing this objective really meant to the station. They also considered the various elements and stages of implementation.

What became clear to the participants upon completion of the work was that the original objective was in fact a tactical change in operations, not a strategic objective. This realization allowed them to think differently about their digital future, and begin integrating digital components in all aspects of station operations.

This clarification led the way to helping the leadership resolve three additional issues via the strategic planning process:

  1. Resolve misunderstandings and eliminate communication barriers in Customer Service, which has led to the management team feeling they were now able to understand and control the support staff more effectively and efficiently.
  2. Critical issues surrounding Pledge Premiums were addressed with an eye toward maximizing revenue and controlling costs. A graphic description of the program was created, communication barriers eliminated, and the team identified saving substantial staff time that resulted in a savings of $40K.
  3. A major issue involving producers, videographers and engineers erupted with regard to the transition from analog to digital film. Utilizing two strategic sessions with all three groups, issues were prioritized and realistic expectations were defined for each group. In doing this, deadlines were being met with more frequency, the quality of work improved, while better working relationships were created. In order to sustain this level of effectiveness, a self-selected internal team, with participation from each area of operation, was assembled to manage, resolve, and mitigate issues as they arose, while identifying potential troubling issues that could be settled before becoming conflicts in the future.

By focusing on a major trouble area (the transition into digital transmission), the KVIE Board was able to move effectively through the issue. This then cleared the way to address other operational elements with more comprehension and clarity.



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