The game of 21st century news and information is dynamic. It moves fast. Things change. For example, some folks now argue that, because the home page matters a lot less than previously, newsrooms should consider eliminating a home page editor. Another example: notwithstanding the relentless pace of change, too few newsrooms have a technology navigator – whether as job or role –someone who monitors developments and pragmatically forces conversations and decisions about what technology and tools ought to be adopted versus experimented with versus monitored further.
Senior leaders must regularly step back to evaluate the shifts happening. For any particular shift (illustration: rapid advances in virtual reality and augmented reality), leaders must ask:
- How might this new development help us better reach and serve audiences, provide superior content and/or experiences, improve our economics or otherwise make positive differences for us?
- What specific performance gains might we achieve if we were to adopt, partner and/or otherwise get good at this new thing? What are the associated costs and risks (including risks to such things as trust and brand)?
- How confident are we? How much certainty versus uncertainty is there to key questions such as: (1) “Is there a market for this?” (2) “Do we believe there is such a market?” (3) “Is the technology for this proven?” (4) “Do we have the capabilities required for this?”
- How might we best move forward? Adopt and roll out something immediately to the whole newsroom? Experiment? Buy or partner?
- How would we know success? That is, what SMART outcome-based goals should we commit to achieving as part of moving forward?
Depending on the size of your enterprise, your best path forward could shift among the three main paths of behavior/skill change of already employed folks versus new hires versus buying/partnering. Regardless of the pathway or blend of pathways selected, you must use the disciplines of performance-driven talent migration described in this chapter to succeed.