Tips for Leading Collaborative Teams and Making Progress

If you hope to achieve things you’re gonna need help from others. Whether you want to build a content-first media organization, or re-think how news is gathered and presented, you can’t do it alone.

So once your idea or process or app is given the green light, and the ball starts rolling forward, how do you effectively communicate and win over the skeptical? How do you go from pitching a great idea to implementing it for wider adoption?

Here are some unscientific methods that I enjoy:

  • From the start, under-promise and over-deliver. Don’t promise the moon and give people a stone from the garden. There will be bugs, and obstacles may arise, but the sun will come up and all will be OK.
  • Get in the trenches and get down to the job. Co-workers are more likely to turn into co-conspirators if you are busting through tasks right alongside them, and whistling while you do it.
  • Hold regular feedback sessions. Offer training, document the training, train some more, listen, retrain and do the task for them, undo it and make them do it.
  • Confront obstacles for in a smart way, and with the knowledge of traditions and interoffice politics as your guide. You can achieve a lot in a little time.
  • Smile, because to be able to lead change in any business, but especially the news business, is an honor.

Remember, one of the easiest ways to receive buy-in from others is to buy in to their ideas and be influenced by them. Put another way: ”Just kick the ball around with them.”

You suddenly see skill sets grow and a sharing of knowledge that can bridge the gap for those who want to ask the question, but might not know the terminology. What’s more, those interactions and collaborations that take place simply by kicking the ball around with others shape the final outcome of a project and allow it to become more than the sum of its parts.