Establish a budget for fundamental innovation – and use criteria to choose among competing ideasDouglas K. Smith, Quentin Hope, Tim Griggs, Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative,
Because of deteriorating economics, it is understandable that metro, local and regional legacy newspaper enterprises tend not to budget money, time and effort for possible innovations that could fail. It’s hard, though, to imagine how such enterprises will win in the absence of taking such risks.
Instead, your news enterprise ought to establish a pool of money and a set budget of people’s time and attention – and explicitly dedicate these resources to experimenting with fundamentally new and different ways of adding value to your markets and local communities. Once you’ve done so, it’s essential to (1) spell out criteria for which innovations to pursue; and, (2) make sure to only compare ‘apples to apples’ when you do this: that is, do not choose between continuous improvement possibilities versus fundamental innovation possibilities.