The foundation of sony pictures entertainment

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Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) was formerly known as Columbia pictures entertainment, headquartered in Culver City, CALIFORNIA. The company was founded in 1987 and it was renamed Sony pictures entertainment in 1991. It is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation.

Sony Pictures Plaza in Culver City, California

SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 140 countries. The company's slogan is SONY LIKE NO OTHER. SPE recorded total sales of $7.6 billion for fiscal year ended March 31, 2010. Key people of SONY PICTURES are Howard Stringer (Chairman, President and CEO of Sony Corporation),Michael Lynton (Chairman & CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment),Amy Pascal (Co-Chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Chairman, Motion Picture Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment), Jeff Blake (Vice Chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment). (schwartz, 2010)



Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. We can also say this; the leader is the inspiration and director of the action. He/she is the person in the group that possesses the combination of personality and skills that makes others want to follow his or her direction. Effective leaders are those who increase their company's' bottom lines. (Susan Ward, 2010)


Change is all around us in different types and categories; it can be brought by us or can come in any way to us.

Change is the way through which future enters your life. (Warrilow, 2009)

"Future is coming fast; we cannot predict but only react when we face it".

Steven Kerr


Changes can come yourself or it can come in other ways that give little choice about its what, when, and how. Changes slow it down or divert it, but it won't stop it however. If you want to get success in this rapidly changing new world then you must learn to look on change like a friend who presents you with an opportunity for improvement and growth.

The rate of change in present time is constantly increasing day by day. In today's world everything that exists should be replaced because it is getting old. "Revolutionary technologies, well-funded new competition, consolidation, unpredictable customers, and a quickening in the pace of change hurled unknown conditions at management." Change is one of the most influencing factors in an organization who wants develop.The important factors for change are: New technology, Global economy, intense domestic and international competition, new opportunities and threats for leadership, Customer demands etc. (Kotelnikov, n.d.)



Participative leadership theories suggest that the ideal leadership style is to takes the input of others. These leaders encourage employees and help them feel more relevant and committed to the decision-making process. In participative theories, however, the leader retains the right to allow the input of others. (Cherry, 2010)


I think that this leadership theory relates in Sony Pictures because Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton firstly changed themselves then they tried to change their employees. As Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton wanted to know first how their own leadership behaviour affected the staff's energy. Through the process of change Lynton came to know, who by nature is an introvert and private that his people were not sure what he was feeling about them. Pascal found that her failure to be direct made her team members feel uncertain, which drained their energy. Lynton to show their employees that he appreciated their good work; he instituted a new ritual of calling and writing notes to employees to recognize them for their accomplishment. This boosted the employee's emotional energy. Pascal created a ritual to help herself be more direct: whenever she found herself in an uncomfortable situation, she would ask herself what is the right thing to do here? She defined "the right thing" as whatever would serve her company best, even if it made her uneasy in the short term. According to above description it shows that Participative Leadership Theories relate in Sony Pictures.


Plan Do Check Act:

 Plan-Do-Check-Act first developed by Walter Shewhart and it was popularized by Edwards Deming. It originated in the 1920s by Mr. Walter A. Shewhart, who introduced the concept of PLAN, DO and SEE. The late Total Quality Management (TQM) guru and renowned statistician W. Edwards Deming modified the Shewhart cycle as: PLAN, DO, STUDY, and ACT. PDCA (plan-do-check-act) is a four-step problem-solving process typically used in business process improvement. It is also known as Shewhart cycle, Deming cycle, PDSA (PLAN DO STUDY ACT),PDCA (PLAN DO CHECK ACT). This Act is useful for change management. The PDCA cycle should be repeated again and again for continuous improvement.

PLAN: To improve your operations first by finding out what things are going wrong (that is identify the problems faced), and come up with ideas for solving these problems.

PROCEDURE- Recognize an opportunity and plan a change.

DO: Implement the new processes. Often on a small scale if possible.

PROCEDURE- Executes the plan, taking small steps in controlled circumstances.

CHECK: Measure the new processes and compare the results against the expected results to ascertain any differences.

PROCEDURE- Review the test, analyze the results and identify what you've learned.

ACT: Analyse the differences to determine their cause. Each will be part of either one or more of the P-D-C-A steps. Determine where to apply changes that will include improvement. When a pass through these four steps does not result in the need to improve, refine the scope to which PDCA is applied until there is a plan that involves improvement.

PROCEDURE- Take action to standardize or improve the process. (W Edwards Deming, 1989)

This theory relates in SONY PICTURES because firstly Sony Pictures made Plan for changes to bring about improvement in employee. Then it Do changes on a small scale with small-group leadership skills and its implementing the changes in them. Then it Act to get the greatest benefit from changes. Then it checks to see if changes are working or not. So in this way we can say that PDCA cycle has applied in this change management in Sony Pictures.

Lewin's Freeze Phases:

In 20th century, the psychologist Kurt Lewin developed a model -"Lewin's Freeze Phases" - which still forms the underlying basis of many change management theories models and strategies for managing change. It is a three-stage process of managing change: unfreezing, changing and re-freezing. (Burnes, 2004)

Unfreezing: Faced with a dilemma or disconfirmation, the individual or group becomes aware of a need to change.

Changing: The situation is diagnosed and new models of behaviour are explored and tested.

Refreezing: Application of new behaviour is evaluated, and if reinforcing, adopted in figure 1 summarizes the steps and processes involved in planned change through action research. Action research is depicted as a cyclical process of change.


Kurt Lewin's change model recognizes that people derive a strong sense of identity to from their environment and they like the safety, comfort and feeling of control within their environment. (Warrilow, n.d.)

It also relates in SONY PICTURES because according to this theory there first step to make plans like:

How to change the behavior of the employee, as they are not extrovert and friendly in nature.

How to increase their energy level, to work more with less time.

How they come out their work-stress, they should take break for a couple of hours.

How they maintain themselves.

i.e called Unfreezing, then it take action steps for getting success in the plan i.e called Changing, then the results come whatever changes have been done in behavior of the employee and their energy level i.e called Refreezing. So in this way we can say that this theory has also applied in this change management in Sony Pictures.


Tony Schwartz is CEO and the president of the Energy Project, first met with Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), co-CEOs, Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal, in the summer of 2007. Pascal and Lynton saw the work of the Energy Project as a way to bring to life their vision of making Sony the most desirable studio to work for and of building a culture of high engagement. Initially, Tony worked with Lynton and Pascal and their team of 17 direct reports. The initial focus was on how they managed their own energy individually, and as an intact team. This senior group found our curriculum sufficiently valuable that they asked to bring it to the top 500 executives, all vice president or above. (schwartz, 2010)

Reasons to Change-

Employee disengagement as they were not able to manage the things.

Employee attitudes and behaviour. They were not friendly.

Employee's have work-stress.

Due to work-stress Physical Health of the employee affects.

Management of employee energy for increasing their work efficiency.

These are the main issues of change management in Sony Pictures.


Firstly people understand how their supply of available energy is influenced by the choices they make, they can learn new strategies that increase the fuel in their tanks and boost their productivity.  

 They adopted some practices such as shutting down e-mail for some hours during their work time, so they can tackle important and complex tasks without facing any distracting interruptions, or taking a daily 3 PM walk to get refreshment and mental breather.

Two fundamental shifts-

 Sony encouraged these two fundamental shifts in this way it can manage employees.

Sony also created a three -day version of a new way of working that included a renewal day that provided participants with specific techniques to improve the quality, quantity and focus of their energy. This day featured individual consults with a nutritionist, exercise physiologist and massage therapist as well as group circuit training, yoga and meditation. Group coaching was offered during the 3 day sessions and then on twice more two and four weeks after the end of the session. The purpose of the coaching was to support the participants in successfully launching and sustaining the rituals they built once they had returned to the challenges of their daily life. Tony continued to work with Pascal and Lynton a senior team on a quarterly basis throughout 2008 to help them model the behaviors they learned and to drive the work down through their own teams. (Gregor, 2010)


In order to embrace energy building and renewing rituals at all levels, Sony pictures went through a transformation. They increased their energy levels to employees; they reduced their work-stress as they had much stress in their jobs. Now they are able to manage their jobs as well as their other's work. They are become now more focused in their work. They changed their behavior and attitude. So by these changes which have done in Sony Pictures, achieved progress and success.


The reaction of the program has been overwhelmingly positive. 88% felt, it has made them more focused and productive. Some 90% of them reported that as a result of the work, they began bringing higher levels of energy to work every day. 84% said they feel better and are able to manage their job's demands and are more engaged at work. Sony's leaders believe that these changes have helped boost the company's performance. E.g. in spite of recession also Sony pictures had its most profitable year ever in 2008 and one of its highest revenue years in 2009. (schwartz, 2010)


For sustaining change of the Sony Pictures, there are some important points which must keep in mind. These are as under:

Employee should be highly engaged because if they highly engage then Sony Pictures will do more and get good results.

Employee should be friendly because then only they can reduce their stress.

High performance culture.

To create lasting cultural change, they must deeply involve an organization's senior leadership.

To give employees the best environment So that they will feel better and work more with less time.

As a leader, you have myriad opportunities to set the right context for your employees to replenish their energy. It's all about providing examples for others and creating a safe environment. (Williams, 2010)


"Management is doing things right; Leadership is doing the right things." - Peter Drucker


Change Starts at the top and begins on day one. Real change happens at the bottom. In order to change others first you should yourself as Lynton and Pascal did. E.Q is one of the key elements towards positive behavioral change which ultimately leads to the goal of a successful change management. Strong cultural values acts as a magnet in the success of a company which binds an employee irrespective of the external factors like recession or economy.