Henrik Keith, former Editor-in-chief and Head of TV News, DR, Copenhagen, introduced the eight-step model of change leadership that guides news managers deal with the fast changing media landscape and help them move the newsroom forward towards a better future.
He told participants to the AIBD/EBU/CCTV Master Class on “Leading Change in the Newsroom” that the first step in this model is to enable their newsroom staff to feel the urgency of change, be alert and open minded towards problems and opportunities.
The second step is to build a team of change agents who will assist in crafting a vision and strategies for change. They should be influential, respected and must have relevant expertise.
Formulating a vision and strategy is the third step. It covers formulating a bright future for the organization and a set of strategies to implement the vision.
Mr. Keith said the first three steps would create a climate of change critical in pursuing the next three steps.
The fourth step involves communicating to the staff the vision and strategy for support. Communication requires appealing not only to their brains but equally important to their emotions.
The fifth step is to empower the staff to change, which requires educating them and giving them the skills to follow and support the changes. This also involves removing the organizational structure barriers that can slow change.
Between three and six months, there should be small successes to motivate staff. Mr. Keith said efforts to change the newsroom will have a series of difficulties and failures, and change agents need to learn from the mistakes and continue developing successes as the sixth step.
The seventh stop covers consolidating progress and integrating all activities, celebrating small and big successes, but Mr. Keith warned change agents must not be complacent, but should continue to observe and enhance the steps to change management.
All along the process, he said, there will be resistance and there is a need to go back and forth to reformulate strategies and reintroduce a sense of urgency.
The last step is to ensure that the staff internalizes the changes that have been introduced.
The eight step model is derived from a book entitled "Heart for Change,” written by Kotter, an expert on change management.