Less is more: Why the biggest innovation in media is called prioritising

Konrad Weber
5 min readMay 26, 2021

More and more with fewer resources. Most editorial units nowadays have only a fraction of the staff and resources that used to be available. At the same time, new platforms and technologies demand new formats and content. Renunciation and prioritisation are the magic words to escape this vicious circle. But this is often easier said than done.

Therefore, here are some strategies on how to say no anyway — and how this endeavour does not only end in absurd and incomprehensible cost-cutting measures.

Why we don’t like renouncing

At least since the last few months, we (read: in the privileged Western world) have experienced for ourselves what conscious renunciation feels like: for many, it was a mixture of loss, missing, and relief.

Relief because values suddenly shifted. In private, this was perhaps achieved by renouncing the constant comparison with others. This (forced) renunciation can also be transferred to the business environment: those who constantly “only” jump after the market environment quickly lose sight of the essentials.

Our primal striving for security and control is at the root of this. The more uncertain the future, the more we try to plan it. In concrete terms, we want to derive our own strategies from the trends and movements of our competitors in the hope that we can influence the future in our own sense. This has less to do with agility and innovation and more with a lack of confidence in our own processes and abilities to deal with the unexpected.

In addition, there is another aspect that makes it difficult to say no and should not be underestimated: Saying no is unpopular. New things are celebrated. Abolishing what already exists, on the other hand, is like a failure. Let’s be honest: Do you know a leader who has been publicly praised for his or her conscious renunciation? Who actually writes “Renouncer”, “ Reducer” or even “Gravedigger” in their Linkedin bio? Rather, we want to present ourselves as “Enabler”, “Innovator” or “Inventor”.

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