Better together: Why collaboration is key in today's newsrooms
40 Better Hours is a Poynter project dedicated to improving your workweek. This is the fourth day of the weeklong series.
There's a lesson that we all learn in the workplace at some point: You can’t accomplish much without knowing how to collaborate.
Carla Zanoni and Jennifer Hicks work together at The Wall Street Journal. Zanoni is the Journal's executive emerging media editor for audience development, and Hicks is the deputy managing editor of digital news. Both women have key jobs that require managing people, resources and expectations. Their jobs also require knowing how to collaborate effectively.
"In order to really innovate you need to leverage each other’s expertise," said Zanoni. "So if we’re only relying on one group to come up with the future of journalism, whether it’s digital or traditional journalism, then we’re relying on a finite amount of resources. And once you start collaborating, you start bouncing ideas off one another, you’re really building on each other’s understandings and unique perspectives in the newsrooms."
Hicks and Zanoni shared their thoughts on collaboration in today's video, along with advice for employees at any level of an organization.
(One quick note about today’s video: We apologize for the less-than-stellar audio quality. We hope you can look past it and focus on the more-than-stellar advice that Hicks and Zanoni shared with us.)
Here are some more resources on effective collaboration:
- Just the right amount of cooks: Collaborating doesn't mean inviting loads of people to participate in every single step of a project. While this article focuses on designers, the principles apply to anyone.
- Keep learning: Sara Catania, the editorial director of Zócalo public square, demonstrates how to promote a culture of collaboration instead of competition in Leadership Advice for Our Age of Disruption, Misperception and Outlandish Expectations.
- Near, far, wherever you are: Working remotely doesn't mean you can't connect with your coworkers. Try to do one-on-one check-ins, team meetings and brainstorm sessions over Skype, FaceTime or Google Hangouts instead of over the phone. Being able to see your coworker's facial expressions makes a big difference when it comes to making a connection.
- Practicing what we preach: Katie Hawkins-Gaar talked about Poynter's collaboration successes (and frustrations) during a symposium devoted entirely to collaboration at Mizzou's Reynolds Journalism Institute. Zanoni and Hicks shared their tips, too.
In today's newsletter, we asked you to tell us about your workplace partner-in-crime. Who’s someone you enjoy collaborating with, and why? They can be a current coworker, or someone you miss from prior days.
Share the love on Twitter using #40BetterHours or, even better, post a coworker selfie on Instagram with the same hashtag. And you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll include some of our favorite shoutouts in tomorrow’s newsletter.
And don't forget: Hicks and Zanoni are available to answer your collaboration questions during a Facebook Q&A at 1 p.m. Eastern. See you then!
40 Better Hours is Poynter's first crowdfunded project. It was made possible by the generous support of Ruth Ann Harnisch and dozens of other supporters.