Sony Pictures: Shaping a Billion Mindsets

by | Meaning at Work

Leadership & Meaning at Work – Sony Pictures Network 

Shaping a Billion Mindsets 

Sony Pictures Network – a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment was formed in 1995 to run its television broadcasting. So far, the journey of this popular Indian media company from ‘Columbia Pictures’ to ‘Sony Pictures’ has been remarkable.  

From producing over 4,000 films and television shows to amazing online games, Sony Pictures Network is to be thanked for stellar movies like The Karate Kid, Jumanji, Stuart Little among others. Currently functioning under the vision of Chairman and CEO Anthony Vinciquerra, it is reported to have an annual turnover of US$ 9billion in 2019. 

The company is known for holding the highest possible standards in everything they do, right from the quality of their content, to the employees they hire, to their management styles. They take every role seriously since it involves shaping a billion mindsets. 

Making work meaningful – Sony’s guide to leadership 

Sony Pictures Network cultivates leaders with its organizational values, encouraging innovation, agility, diversity, collaboration and upskilling to remain relevant and ahead of the curve. While all this is essential, the era of disruption has brought its own set of challenges. 

The new X, Y, Z generation unlike its predecessor, pitches their loyalty to instant gratification and feedback along with work that interests them. Therefore, one of the biggest challenges is retaining top talent and providing them work they find meaningful. 

Sony Pictures Network works on 3Ps principles – Purpose, Passion, and Pride which perfectly encapsulates what is called finding purpose & meaning at work. They have a more productive, engaged, and happier workplace where employees can freely express and advance in their personal as well as professional space. Some of their unique ways are:  

  • Live your dream: Employees including women are given a chance to showcase their business plans and the top finalists get a chance to pitch that to the CEO and get funding.  
  • Reverse Mentoring: Juniors are given a chance to mentor their senior leaders. This reverse engineering helps in adding value as well as instilling the sense of pride and purpose early in the juniors.  
  • Beyond the basics: Employees are encouraged to live a more balanced and healthy life with the help of some benefit programs, policies, and processes.  

They have also invested in a Leadership Competency Framework to define skills and competencies that have the most significant impact on an organization’s performance. The company hires talent from top B schools that have the right skills and values that align with its DNA. 

Over the years, the company has transformed tremendously with changes such as the introduction of Continuous Performance Management to replace the traditional bi-annual reviewsleaner structure for easy access to senior leaders, executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, and courses from renowned B-schools like Harvard and Columbia etc.  

Download the Performance Management Handbook to help you come up with a performance management process that works for your organization.

There is also an extensive focus on people learning, grooming internal talent and offering challenging cross-functional work assignments that contribute towards the organization’s growth 

SPN attributes that provide an empowered culture  

According to one research, Sony Pictures Network was awarded as the ‘AON Best Employers India’ amongst 19 companies across various industries. The empowered culture, commitment to create an exclusive business environment, and keeping employee-centric mindset helped SPNI bag this award.  

At SPNI, they hire talents who align with the organization’s DNA, keep consumers first, innovate and move fast, collaborate to win, work with a sense of urgency, take ownership and accountability, believe in the power of diversity, and embrace sustainability, etc.  

They have an approximately 95% retention rate with expert employees who are aligned with the organization’s vision and values. Even SPNI’s meaning at work policy is best-driven for millennials giving them freedom and flexibility to do their job as well as inspiring them to give their best, eg: Bring Your Own Self to Work.  

For top management, SPNI employs Capability Building Program where senior leaders equip senior managers with tools, tips, skills and techniques that enable them to unleash their potential around their identified competencies. Also, Sales Ki Pathshala initiative to keep their sales workforce abreast about pertinent topics in the dynamic broadcasting environment. Their open and transparent work environment makes it an awesome place for individuals to explore, share ideas, and find true meaning at work.   

Leading in the digital age with agility, diversity and innovation  

The Indian Media and Entertainment industry is witnessing massive growth driven by growing digitization and higher internet usage. To cater to the new demands, today’s leaders are required to have a completely new style of leadership skills.  

With the rapidly changing customer preferences, leaders at the organization will have to have a customer-first strategy coupled with an agile and customer-centric mindset to make the organization future-ready. The changing market also demands leaders to engage with people outside their direct control and collaborate them to achieve goals faster. CXO collaboration at Sony Pictures Network includes gauging everyone’s viewpoints and debating it before green-lighting the project. It significantly adds value and insights more democratically. 

The organization will also need to update their technical skills and the leaders will have to possess bifocal vision to accurately perceive things happening on the horizon and focus on the more immediate, pressing incidents in the dynamic media and entertainment landscape. 

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