Arms wide, legs apart, the coach used to yell. Play big. Expand the area you take up and intimidate the other players.
HM Riverdeep is playing big these days, intimidating any and all educational publishing players. McGraw-Hill has been the first to flinch.
According to Harold McGraw, the third of that name, the company is well-positioned to capitalize on the long-term trends driving global economic growth. Doesn't the globe need knowledge, and isn't McGraw-Hill the company to deliver it? With that in mind, they've made plans to sack about 600 employees.
HM Riverdeep was created with an eye to the electronic future, where hard copies will lose out to computers. Houghton Mifflin saw it coming soon enough to get bought up by Barry O'Callaghan's little minnow of a firm that was steering a course towards the future of educational materials. The mighty McGraw-Hill, stodgy and set in its ways, may have moved too slowly and HM Riverdeep Harcourt Greenwood et al. passed them by.
McGraw-Hill realizes that it must go digital, but Barry O'Callaghan was already heading off in that direction. All well and good for McGraw to consolidate departments now, after HM Riverdeep Educational Media and what have you has already started streamlining operations. If Riverdeep gets its products into general use before McGraw-Hill develops some killer apps, it will be an uphill slog for McGraw-Hill to win market share.
600 people to be let go, mostly from the educational publishing component of McGraw-Hill. How many will lose their jobs as HM Riverdeep Harcourt and friends trim down to a fighting weight? Who will come out a lean, mean fighting machine, and who will wither away?