Skills for journalists in print and digital media.

Define good with routines

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Managing change. Cultivating innovation. On good days both have an undercurrent of energy and possibility that can be intoxicating. Of course, other days they can be terrifying.

Managers who want to bottle the good stuff and build a bridge over down days should focus on “defining good.” That means identifying successes in any form, deconstructing how they happened and what they look like, and then framing clear standards, directions and feedback to enable staff to replicate success. This becomes a rapid-fire cycle of what may have been more of an annual event.

Steen Steensen, writing on the Online Journalism Blog, lists “five factors that affect whether an innovation is diffused successfully,” which means the change becomes part of the fabric, part of the new normal of the newsroom.

Third on Steensen’s list:

The role of management: is newsroom management able to secure stable routines for innovation?

“Stable routines” are another way to describe clear standards and practices. The challenge is embedding them as “routines” as quickly as possible, and being prepared to adjust the routine as innovation and more change occur.


Written by mroberts8

November 5, 2009 at 3:50 pm

One Response

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  1. […] of managing change is the ability to quickly spot, quantify, and consolidate success — to define good even as standards are evolving. This applies to all aspects of a news operation, from content to […]

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