Agile journalism: This is how a self-organised editorial team is working

We all talk about agility. But how does a self-organised team perform in the rigid and hierarchical media environment? A practical example provides some insights.

Konrad Weber

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Self-organised and without big egos: the team behind ‘Neue Narrative’.

A few days ago, Neue Narrative broke the magic barrier of the first 10,000 subscribers. The team behind the young business magazine started with the mission of telling stories from a new, ego-free working world. These stories are meant to invite people to get involved, to follow suit and to think ahead. The team wants to write about a new, human-centred work environment and tries to be the prototype of a self-organised, responsible and independent organisation.

Martin Wiens, co-founder of ‘Neue Narrative’.

“ At the start of Neue Narrative, we wanted to develop an organisation with processes and structures that consciously do not incentives big egos,” explains co-founder Martin Wiens in an interview. After two years, the founding team has grown from 3 people to 15.

Since July 2020, Neue Narrative has been an accountability-owned company. “We are currently on the threshold of the next stage of development,” says Martin Wiens. Because the team has set itself the declared goal, in addition to the regular magazine production — by the way, deliberately without distribution at the newsstands — of building a publishing house of the future. Here’s how to do it: A big pinch of ego-free corporate culture, modern structures and agile processes. But what does this look like in everyday editorial work?

How a strategy process comes to life

The core of Neue Narrative’s corporate culture is a regular process in which staff members reflect on the “how” and “what” of their joint work. The team has agreed on 3 strategic goals:

  • New growth channels make us independent.
  • We grow into a decentralised digital publisher.
  • We break the 1 million annual turnover mark.

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