Thursday, March 3, 2011

7 tips to stimulate innovation in newsrooms

Tina Seelig,
Versión en español aquí.

I just finished taking the free online course on innovation offered at NewsU and thought the beleaguered folks working at newspapers could certainly benefit. So could digital news entrepreneurs. The course offers simple, useful techniques to encourage innovation in any newsroom.

The main takeaways:
  • Innovation is a discipline and it can be taught. 
  • The big eureka moments occur when there is a culture of continuous incremental change. 
  • Do cheap prototypes of a product or service early in the process. It reduces risk and produces valuable insights.
  • A new product or service needs to solve a problem. The bigger the problem the bigger the opportunity. No one will pay you to solve a non-problem.
  • You need to know how to fail fast and frequently. If you’re not failing sometimes, you’re not taking enough risks.
  • Don’t wait to be chosen to solve a problem. It’s up to you to find a project and put your talents to work.
  • Never miss an opportunity to be fabulous. That is, tell people that the sky’s the limit. They’re all waiting for permission to stretch the boundaries. 
Several of these concepts came from a presentation by Tina Seelig, executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. Her presentation can be found here.

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