Nickelodeon Culture in Latin America

Table of Content

Describe the culture at Nickelodeon Latin America

Firstly, the whole culture at Nickelodeon is all about kids. Give children a voice and unify children. The children are the face of the channel. This was noticeable in the company’s atmosphere. People dressed casually and felt comfortable bringing their kids into work and the passed out candy at some meetings. Swan wanted to create brand awareness internally (People should have “orange” blood and a strong identification with the brand) – Secondly, there is a strong team culture.

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Swan created a team orientation culture in which people felt responsible for the business as a whole, not only for their individual task/department. Also, everyone is allowed to contribute ideas. – Thirdly, there’s the Big bets”-strategy. For example concentrating money and efforts on one major project. As their strategy implies, they were willing to take risk. Trust is behind their willingness to take risk. Taran has fought for her people and delegated tasks to them, believing their ability. Although they are empowered, they want to make decisions together with the colleagues who they trust.

How did Swan go about building that culture?

Consider the interrelationships among Nickelodeon Latin America’s context, design factors, culture and outcomes. She decided on developing projects (“Nick en Vivo”, “Ayuda a tu Mundo”) to communicate the culture and mission (“Nick te connect a tu mundo”) toward the outside world. There is a strong resemblance between the mission and slogan that is all about unifying kids from different cultures/countries rather than alienating them and the company’s culture. This “unifying” aspect is reflected in her team design.

She insisted on a multidimensional team with the motto “Work together, get along together”. This team was formed using functional diversity, ties and team configuration and it included unconventional choices that suited the “big bets” strategy. Swan also spent many weekends in Miami to socialize with her team outside working hours to strengthen the team spirit. Her reliance and trust in her team was very important as she faced the Spanish language barrier and strong market uncertainty. The project was new and she had to motivate her team so that they would not abandon her.

She wanted the company to have the same integrity as her vision and in order to give employees “orange” blood and to emphasize that Nickelodeon was all about kids; workshops like” How to Nickelodeon” and “Grow Downs” were organized. She insisted on open communication. To facilitate information flow, there were many meetings and some had rotating leader positions. (Tuesday morning executive team meeting, annual Synergy Meeting, bi-monthly Update Meeting, weekly Nickelodeon Initiatives meeting). Thus, information was shared effectively across the team.

She also promoted a “learning and growing” culture by creating meetings in which all employees (high and low) were involved so that they were informed about the projects of other departments. During these meetings they could give their ideas even if it wasn’t part of their task or expertise (think outside the box) ( employees were highly engaged and put it a lot of effort. Swan kept on using the “Big bets”-strategy also after the launch period of the channel.

Describe Swan’s leadership style. What impact has it had on the culture?

Taran’s ultimate goal was the team’s success. Her management style was all about critical reflection. The usual process would go like this: Initially, asking her employees a lot of questions in order to get an understanding of the problem and to see if the employee had the right reasoning. They had to carefully and critically consider the consequences of their actions. After a while, when she trusted the employee on their job, this questioning would become less frequent and she would rely on the instinct, creativity and motivation of others.

In other words, a “delegation” style was adapted. Employees started adapting her leadership style, especially asking tough business questions and thinking strategically, thus making it part of the culture. She also allowed everyone to contribute ideas and tried to give people ownership. She also fought for the people she had high belief in and also put in time for personal attention. All of these factors contributed to a strong team culture.

What are the challenges that Swan faces at the end of the case? What actions should she take? Should she assign and interim director?

It seems hard to maintain this leadership style she has used so far from her home in New York. Especially the questioning, attending of meetings, time put in personal attention and her general work ethic are not really possible. So Swan should to adapt a new leadership style (the question is not only if she has the skills, but also if she feels comfortable with it).

Managing should be more on the bottom line, not so much focusing on the details. She should try to focus only on critical situations, at this moment these are: the launch of a Portuguese-language feed to service Brazil and negotiating with a crucial affiliate in Argentina, in hopes of reaching an additional 1,5 million homes. She might switch to a “delegating” style sooner than usual. Although this is difficult because her old style is already embedded in the company’s culture. Since the organization though is asking for Swan’s old leadership style, it would be wise to choose an interim director that uses the same leadership style as Swan.

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Nickelodeon Culture in Latin America. (2018, Feb 05). Retrieved from

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