OUR PROCESS LEARNINGS
Beyond the ideas generated through the program, our team at IN/LAB take home a number of learnings about the process of working together with a young audience. We outline three of them below!
KEY LEARNING 1
Recruit divergent voices – and make it clear why
We ran the News Changemaker program to learn from and with voices not traditionally included in news media ideation processes. This ambition was rooted in research on how organizations that embrace diversity outperform homogenous ones in terms of innovation and performance.
To succeed with our ambition, we had to make sure that the people we recruited to the program felt confident that their voice mattered – and that we would take meaningful actions based on their input. Our experience is that whenever we failed to remind our participants about how and why their input mattered, their motivation dropped.
KEY LEARNING 2
Set realistic, transparent goals
It is not the responsibility of 10 temporary hires aged 16-18 to solve all challenges of news media, but our expectations on this program was for it to serve as a catalyst for innovation.
Whenever we failed to communicate our expectations (in the program overall and/or in a given session) or to create the necessary conditions for our Changemakers to innovate, their creative confidence and motivation suffered. Over time, we therefore made sure to be very explicit about the "jobs to be done" – and their roles in doing so.
KEY LEARNING 3
Establish a culture of professionalism
The Changemakers collectively decided on their working culture and we did our best to support them in living up to it. Psychological safety is a prerequisite for creativity, but it requires active measures. Reminding the Changemakers about their "culture contract" and encouraging behaviors like calling each other colleagues (we were all on the same payroll, after all!) worked well for us.