While publishing the World News Publishers Outlook 2017 report is still some months off, industry insiders are already discussing the study’s interim results previewed recently at the 14th International Newsroom Summit in London.

WNPO2017-CoverExecutives from 68 countries on six continents responded to the 22-question survey of the decision-making strategies of newsmedia managers across editorial, commercial, technology and senior management roles. “Our results show significant differences between the strategic choices made by profitable and unprofitable companies,” said IRG’s Dr François Nel, co-author of the study conducted in collaboration with the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

“However, one of the most surprising findings was that when respondents were asked what the biggest risk to their organisation’s future was, they did not see the greatest risk coming from the decline in advertising revenue, or from Google and Facebook, or from other digital disruptions. The biggest single threat to their future success, was not from outside the organisation but from the inside: the reluctance to innovate.”

Organisations that prioritise innovation efforts are almost three times as likely to be reporting significant increases in revenues, compared with organisations which do not. (Odds ratio = 2.9)

This threat is also directly linked to organisational performance, the study results show organisations whose leaders model the right innovation behaviours for others to follow are more than 4 times as likely to be reporting significant increases in revenues over the last 12 months, compared with organisations which do not. (Odds ratio = 4.3)

Nel challenged conference participants to consider what this finding means for them: “Building an organisational culture that promotes innovation is the responsibility of a firm’s leadership. So, is the biggest threat to your organisation’s success in your leadership team. Is it you?”

The World News Publishers Outlook 2017 report by Nel and IRG partner, Dr Coral Milburn-Curtis will be launched at the WAN-IFRA’s Digital Media Europe conference to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark on 24 April 2017. Study respondents receive a free copy of the study findings and the full report will be available for purchase from WAN-IFRA

About the Author Innovation Research Group

The Innovation Research Group emerged from a partnership between two researchers affiliated to Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. Our backstory here: http://www.gtc.ox.ac.uk/news/news-articles/1864-world-media.html

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