Lessons on how to become innovative
By Deb Shaw
Editor, Suburban Publisher
If there was an overriding theme in the lessons taught by Mark Briggs at the SNA
Foundation’s first webinar of the New Year it was that, in order for innovation
to be practiced at any company, people need to stop planning and start doing.
To illustrate his point, Briggs described a friend who now works as Chief Tech Officer
at a local startup in the Seattle area but who had previously worked in a corporate
environment in which he managed hundreds. In his former corporate life, the friend
tells Briggs that he spent about 80% of his time planning and about 20% doing; in
sharp contrast, at the startup company where he now works, he spends only about
5% of his time planning and 95% doing. Marked difference. Old thinking/new thinking;
old normal/new normal; legacy company/startup company. There are lessons here folks.
When Briggs took center stage in mid-January to lead the Innovation At Work: An
Introduction webinar, he attracted quite an audience — both in quantity and
diversity — which speaks volumes about the desire among suburban and community
media company staffers to further their practices and thinking when it comes to
breaking new ground at their legacy newspaper companies. Briggs’ webinar attracted
almost 140 registrants and virtually every job title was represented. Publishers,
editors, web managers, ad sales account execs and managers, audience development
supervisors, market research folks and more — you name it and that registration
list had it. Another testament to the appeal of this topic among local media types.
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