Wick Communications

A special day in Sierra Vista

In Ideas on 26 Aug 2016 at 8:10 am


Wick Communications directors, group publishers and others joined CEO Francis Wick for a very special workshop in Sierra Vista, Ariz., on Monday. We were the beneficiaries of the largess of the Knight Foundation, which paid the tab for a visit from Stanford Design School trainer Tran Ha.

Tran ran through the fundamentals of design thinking. I’ve touted the benefits of this new paradigm in this blog before. In a nutshell, design thinking is a mindset and a process that calls for empathy with users as a precursor to prototyping and testing new solutions to sometimes old problems. I thought I would point out just three of the high points from Monday in hopes you might take something from them too.

Ask the right question. Too often, we jump to solutions without asking the most important people – readers, advertisers, employees – about their lifestyles, needs and hopes for our work. Empathy for the people we serve is the key to the whole ball of wax. It’s not difficult and it doesn’t cost much. If you have a problem, ask the end user before deciding on a new course.

Design-thinking doesn’t have to take all day. Again and again, Tran told us to take five minutes, three minutes, one minute on a creative assignment. Don’t let the process paralyze you. …

It doesn’t have to be expensive either. When it was over, we settled on a few “tiny experiments” that will test such things as better election coverage and a more rich telling of the Wick story on social media. If you think of a new idea as a tiny experiment it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

You will be hearing much more about this if I have anything to say about it. Stay tuned.



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