Seven ways to get lucky with innovation

This month’s host to the vagabond Carnival of Journalism, Will Sullivan, posed a theme for our musings:

What are small, incremental steps one can make to fuel change in their media organization?  (Yes, we’d all like to swing in our newsroom, lay some boot heels on chests, hoist the black flag and change everything by the end of business on Monday — but the reality is, that ain’t happening unless you have a couple buckets of cash to buy a paper of your choice and a rusty sabre.) So what are some realistic, real-world examples of free (or cheap) ways you can help fuel change at your newsroom.

Hmmm … I like that pirate thing. A little pirate spirit could be a good thing.

I’m sure my “carnival colleagues” will have a number of specific examples so I’ve decided to go a little broader and look at creating the environment that allows for innovations.

Here’s seven ways (seven cause it’s a lucky number and we need some lucky numbers) to fertilize newsrooms with the creativity necessary to grow incremental innovations.

Boots1) Let people have pets, or at least pet projects. More specifically, let them own pet projects.

Ducky2) It’s ducky if folks are a little quacky. Foster creative environments.

3) Working needs to be fun. Remember to laugh.


4) Celebrate victories, milestones, people. They are your treasures.

Windy Jack5) Persevere — even in a head wind.

6) Tell people you’ve done something cool. Shoot up fireworks if necessary.


Measure7) Measure. See if it worked.

I’d love to know you thoughts on this post, but to read all the Carnival of Journalism posts, please go to

Duck photo by Talid Magdy
Windy Jack photo by Mark Lail
Cake photo by Lauren Spuhler
Group shot by Saul Young