Since I'm always interested in what's going on in my community, I set up a Twitter search for 'Beaufort' and display that column prominently in my TweetDeck. Normally not much going on: A few references to the Beaufort wind scale, a few random musings about Beaufort, SC, a note or two on Beaufort, NC (That's Bo-Fort), and one or two mentions of Beaufort Street, where ever that is... Tuesday during lunch a tweet arrived from @emilyduncan. "Huge Island Vs. Beaufort fight at school today. complete chaos." I checked the Beaufort Gazette site, and no shock here, there was no mention of the fight. I figured this wouldn't make the Savannah or Charleston news stations, so I didn't bother. The next mention of the event was yesterday morning by @newschannel15. The tweet links to a YouTube video of the fight, clearly taken by a student. Here's my question: Why didn't the Beaufort Gazette pick this story up sooner? The only story I can find was published this morning and is a discussion of the YouTube popularity of the video, not anything about the actual fight. People have posited that the only for newspapers to survive is to get with the times, branch out into new media, and provide excellent local coverage. With the continuing failure of newspapers, why can't the Gazette get on board. They used to have a Twitter account, but this hasn't been updated in a few days. Even when it was broadcasting, they didn't respond to my questions or @replies. The paper just consolidated operations with the (Hilton Head) Island Packet. Now, the Packet and the Gazette are the same papers, same content, different mastheads. Twitter's free. Other people break the news. The paper can then follow up and publish a real news article. I just don't get it.
So I have been reading an amazing book, Good to Great, by Jim Collins. Without going into a full-scale book review here, Collins posits that it is easy to create a great company, but much harder to take the average good company and transform it into a great one. He looks at companies from all different sectors, pharmaceuticals, heavy industry, retail, etc. Needless to say, there are a few consistent traits of these companies. First, they have amazing leaders. Not egomaniacs like Steve Jobs, but solid, empowering leaders that create a corporate culture that is not dependent on their leadership. If Steve Jobs were to have a stroke tomorrow, Apple would be back to almost bankrupt in a few years. Jobs is the driving force for the company and the only person that can hold it all together. Not completely related to the book, but I happened to come across a great quote while I was surfing the internet today. It's from General Eric Shenseki, the former Chief of Staff of the US Army: "If you don't like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less."