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The newsroom at La Presse, a french-language daily newspaper in Montreal, April 15, 2013. (Christinne Muschi For The Globe and Mail)
The newsroom at La Presse, a french-language daily newspaper in Montreal, April 15, 2013. (Christinne Muschi For The Globe and Mail)

Commentary

Innovative businesses learn from traditional newsrooms Add to ...

Brand newsrooms are emerging and will become an even bigger trend this year. The digital era has prompted companies to create a new kind of reactivity – work environments that simulate traditional newsrooms and have an open environment for sharing ideas and improving collaboration. It’s not only impacting the way people work, but from a social media perspective it’s better for content creation and dissemination.

Here are a few ways innovative businesses are leveraging the tried-and-true newsroom model to drive unexpected results and creativity:

Open concept

Forward-thinking companies have open-concept spaces, similar to most newsroom settings, which enhances relationships on their teams. It’s becoming the norm to see executives and founders sitting side-by-side with their employees, building on ideas and reacting to discussions in real time.

Sharing is as easy as saying it out loud. The concept also creates a high-performance culture through increased visibility and motivation by open-office feedback. It also allows for constant exposure to new ideas and senior-level strategic thinking, which would previously have happened behind closed doors or not at all.

Pushing boundaries on creative spaces

Sometimes a news story doesn’t always start off as interesting as it seems. A lead is only the beginning. By creating work environments that are more fluid, and a bit unique, companies can drive better thinking and more creativity. Google is a great example of a business that has a space designed for creativity and collaboration in its new Toronto office.

Where stale and plain boardrooms once held meetings, Google employees can choose one of many themed floors to build out their ideas in unique spaces ranging from camping tents to music studios. The purpose of the space is to encourage movement and inspiration.

Virtual teams

Other companies are pulling together virtual teams to tackle big challenges. Disparate groups brainstorm and lead major initiatives as companies look to leverage their breadth of expertise. The philosophy is that good ideas can come from anywhere and they are even stronger when organizations enable broad participation.

Real-time solutions

This is arguably the most important newsroom mentality a business can adopt. We live in a social world and information is shared instantly, making it more important to be in the know and to be able to react on a dime.

What might normally take hours to bubble up to every individual in a company can now be shared instantly in a more open environment. Opportunities happen at lightning speed, and if you can’t move quickly, you risk losing them.

Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet during the power outage is a perfect example of how a newsroom mentality can result in huge wins. If Oreo had taken a more bureaucratic approach and waited for multiple approvals or discussions, they would never have been the most talked-about brand around the Super Bowl.

Smart businesses are seeing the value of reactivity and creating environments that bring it to life in the workplace. By replicating key attributes of the traditional newsroom, businesses are creating winning work environments that drive smarter thinking and better long-term results.

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