Anthony Moor

Exploring Media in Transformation | Transforming in Media Exploration

/ˌtrænsfərˈmeɪʃən/ n. 1: a process of change from one form to another.

How to innovate news -- IDEO style

I recently attended a two-day brainstorming session in Reno at the University of Nevada School of Journalism as a representative of the Online News Association. Our leaders were the IDEO company, which is a well-known, Palo Alto based design consultancy.

They specialize in rethinking products, processes and businesses and have an impressive track record. I used them in the “expert” role for stories when I was a reporter in San Francisco.

Student Michael Higdon captured what we learned in a series of posts, and while we came up with some new models for news, my key takeaway was the IDEO process for reinventing products, processes and businesses. Michael explains it well. I recommend a thorough read.

Gannett hired IDEO a couple years ago. Their CEO, among others, participated in an intensive consultancy and Jennifer Carroll, who is Gannett’s VP for strategy (and the one who designed their “information center” concept among other things) tells me that they still use IDEO’s process for creating new products, digital and otherwise.

UPDATE: From MediaShift Idea Lab, some details on this kind of innovation and how Gannett and IDEO collaborate:

Design thinking is a movement that's gaining a toe-hold in the journalism world. Gannett is embracing it, and has hired one of the leading firms in this field, IDEO. You can watch a series of videos that IDEO and Gannett posted about their process here.

Here's hoping we can do the same.