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Saulo Santana
Berlin & Potsdam, Germany

Lesson 1: Democratic approach is the key to failure

Starting with “Lessons I’ve learned”, I will mention a consulting I gave some years ago to a group of magazines from South America and Europe.

The idea was to give them a huge feedback of their publications and point out details that could be improved, since structure of the newsroom to graphic project, team,  infographics…etc.

Well, when I start any project, the main reason I am there is because they need something different. Times change. People change. Habits change. Products change. And of course, magazines and newspapers should also be rethought.

The project started with one magazine and because of its sucssess ended with a complete change in almost all products of the group.
But what I basically learned on this project was: one cannot complete a project successfully with a totally democratic approach, like presenting a new concept to as many people as possible in the newsroom and taking votes from them.

The most successful projects are those in which the concept is presented to all, but the main decisions are taken together with a few key players, contributing with their experience to what they beleive that really works, and not to what the majority “like” – what can be really dangerous.

Sometimes the team can only see the importance of those changes when you get the results of it. And it was what happend in this project.