By Ben Mattison
The Yale Publishing Course (YPC), a highly regarded professional development program for leaders in book and magazine media, will expand its training in business and management as part of a collaboration with the Yale School of Management beginning in 2017.
The program will continue to include presentations by top industry experts focusing on the most pressing issues and challenges facing the industry and offering real-world examples; they will be complemented by additional sessions by Yale faculty on such topics as leadership techniques, business and marketing strategies, entrepreneurship and innovation, and organizational behavior. As in past years, there will be ample opportunities to network with both the faculty and peers from all over the world.
Participants in YPC will also benefit from Yale SOM’s expertise in presenting executive education programs and its state-of-the-art facility—the Norman Foster-designed Edward P. Evans Hall.
Founded in 2010, the Yale Publishing Course presents two weeklong programs, one focusing on the book industry and the other on the magazine industry. They are aimed at mid- to senior-level professionals in all areas, from editors, business managers, and marketers to digital specialists, literary agents, and publishing executives.
Tina C. Weiner, founding director of YPC, said that the mission of the program is unchanged: to give the participants a unique opportunity to step away from their daily routines and view the industry from a broader perspective, getting a comprehensive, cutting-edge view of a complex, ever-changing industry continually being shaped by new technology, shifting consumer habits, and the opportunities presented by an expanding global market.
“When we first launched YPC, it was called ‘Publishing Strategies in a Time of Transition’ to reflect the impact of the digital revolution,” Weiner said. “We now recognize that change in the media world is constant, and there needs to be a place where professionals can go to acquire new skills and knowledge in a highly interactive classroom setting. By joining forces with SOM, the curriculum will be strengthened and will offer the participants an enhanced combination of theory and practice.”
The course invites accomplished industry professionals to speak with participants about how their own companies are finding new opportunities as the industry changes. Speakers in the past have included industry innovators from large organizations such as Hearst, Conde Nast, and Penguin Random House, and smaller, independent companies such as Atlantic Media, Harvard Business Review, Dwell, and the Quarto Group.
“They really delve deeply into big issues—the co-existence of print and digital, for instance—with a focus on real-life case studies that present models for how you can successfully innovate,” Weiner said.
The course is unique among publishing programs in gathering a small group of established professionals, Weiner added. “It’s an opportunity for them to meet and talk with the speakers one-on-one. And they also get to know peers in the industry throughout the world.”
Molly Nagler, Yale SOM’s associate dean for executive programs, said that the YPC was a perfect addition to SOM’s executive education offerings for leaders in a variety of fields.
“Our focus is on bringing together smart, ambitious executives from an industry and exposing them to the latest academic research,” she said. “They go back to the office ready to apply those insights to their work every day.”
Yale SOM’s faculty expertise aligns well with the publishing industry, she noted. “Publishing is a complex, changing, global industry, where innovation is key—and it’s one that plays a hugely important role in our society. Our faculty are focused on bringing together multiple disciplines to understand that kind of complexity at the nexus of business and society, and we are the most global U.S. business school.”
YPC faculty include Professor Amy Wrzesniewski, an expert on leadership, and Professor Rodrigo Canales, an expert on innovation. Other faculty members will bring insights from psychology and other business disciplines to discussions of consumer behavior and brand building, among other topics
Those academic insights, Nagler added, will be complemented with the real-world experiences of visiting industry experts. “It’s really the best of both worlds.”