It’s all about the quick wins

Some low-hanging fruit, yesterday. Credit: Toshihiro Gamo (Persimmon Tree and Blue Sky). CC BY-NC-ND.

There are lots of things that we want to change at the European Journalism Centre. Getting to know the team has been insightful — they’ve helped me understand what’s working and what’s not. But many of those things like team culture, communication best practices, design overhauls, and creating a more focused mission take time.

Sometimes they, and I, need to see more immediate, more instantaneously gratifying results. So, here are four quick wins that we instigated in a day or less.

1. Team email

Day one — I get set to email the team a short hello note and realise that there’s no way to mail all staff. Quick win number one: set up an email group, team@ejc.net. Saves time, includes everyone, encourages visibility and communication. Easy.

2. Leadership stand-up

There’s so much going on, and so much information flowing through a few key leaders at the company, that this was essential. 10 minutes every day Bianca (our head of resources), John (he runs finances) and I meet and outline our priorities and challenges for the day. It got me understanding the pulse of the company from the get-go, and helps them understand what’s going on in my world.

3. Brussels-bound

I decided to spend one day a week in Brussels. One, regular unmissable, scheduled day in Brussels. Every Wednesday.

It was important both as a signal to the staff there, but also as a matter of pure practicality. I need to get to know the people and the projects and face-to-face is the best way. We also video call almost every day too now as well.

4. This blog

I hadn’t planned to do this blog. Short-term, this 100 days project helps me structure my thoughts. People outside the organisation mention it a lot when I speak to them. It is an active way to show the type of transparency and accountability I want in the team.

There are lots more quick wins that we’ve put in place that I’ve already forgotten. But three weeks in, it’s great to start see things move in the right direction.