Put a senior executive or management team in charge of partnering, and hold them accountable for resultsDouglas K. Smith, Quentin Hope, Tim Griggs, Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative,
In 2015, Philadelphia asked a senior leader to oversee partnering for the enterprise. In doing so, Philly simultaneously elevated the strategic importance of partnering and set in motion the resources and discipline needed to make that practice real. Your enterprise may lack the resources to dedicate a senior executive to the full-time job of overseeing partnering. You might, though, make that responsibility a key role for a senior executive even if not the full-time job. Or, you might designate a team for the same purpose. Absent taking one of these steps, though, make/buy/partner is not likely to happen with the rigor, discipline and repetition required.
Whether you choose to have a senior executive with a full-time job as head of partnering, or designate that as a role alongside other job requirements for an executive and/or establish a team or committee to guide partnering, those in charge of partnering should:
- Develop and recommend a set of make/buy/partner objectives for inclusion in strategic as well as annual plans
- Be accountable for delivering on the objectives and recommendations accepted and put into strategic and annual plans
- Work with newsroom leaders to ensure make/buy/partner gets included and practiced bottom up by desks, mini-publishers and others
- Establish and guide the regular monitoring and review sessions in which make/buy/partner efforts are managed and adjusted – including both when/how your enterprise monitors the objectives set as well as how particular service level agreements and partnering memoranda of understanding are performing (see below)
- Periodically report on make/buy/partner performance results, progress and shortfalls to senior enterprise management as well as staff more broadly