Identifying opportunities for change
You may have started this session identifying your North Star – a shared vision for what it looks like when you reach your internal goal, whether it be becoming more diverse, collaborative, or whatever you decided to focus on. You also spent time talking about the current forces that are enabling or inhibiting that vision. Now that you know where you are and where you want to go, let’s spend some time figuring out how to close the gap between the two.
For those of you starting with this exercise, that’s fine too. Just make sure you have a topic in mind before you begin.
After completing this exercise, your group will walk away with actionable steps you can take to make changes in specific newsroom processes and practices.
30 - 50 minutes
Materials + Set-up
This exercise works best with a group of individuals from across the newsroom. It may also be helpful to include leadership or decision-makers in this process, or just plan to share the results with management after the exercise.
Materials needed: Two pieces of flip chart paper, side by side. Each person should have a sticky note pad and a marker.
Here's What You Need To Get Started
Identifying Opportunities For Change
Start by asking the question: What would have to change in the way the newsroom, and you within it, operate now for your organization to realize ____________? (Either your North Star or the topic you’ve chosen)
For example, if you're focusing on internal collaboration: What would have to change in the way the newsroom, and you with it, operate for you organization to realize a culture of collaboration?
First, think about the changes that you, as an individual, can make to work toward your North Star. What do you personally have the power to change?
Then, think of opportunities for bigger, organizational changes. What polices or practices would help the newsroom achieve your North Star?
Generate as many ideas as you can. Write one idea per sticky note.
Pair + share
Share with a partner.
Take turns reading your ideas out loud. Place similar ideas near one another on a wall or flip chart paper.
Narrowing it down
After everyone’s ideas have been shared and organized, the group can vote on what ideas they want to pursue. Everyone will get three votes, and should use them based on the following criteria:
Is this idea feasible?
Do we have the capacity (individual or collective) to make it happen?
Does this align with our North Star?
To vote, each person uses their marker to draw a dot on their top 3 ideas that they feel meets the voting criteria.
Making it happen
After everyone has voted, take the top 3-4 ideas and separate them from the rest. Then, either in small group or as a large group, brainstorm the following questions:
Who in this room has the power to make it a reality? Who outside this room can you ask for help?
What steps would it take to make these ideas a reality?
What are three actions you can take to work toward the opportunities you've identified?