Accelerated strategy design with the leadership team at Metro

Design thinking meeting

The Challenge:

The leadership team at Metro, the world’s most-read free paper, wanted to explore new ways of creating value for its urbanite readership in a rapidly evolving media landscape, in order to shape its strategy for the coming 18 months.

Following the event, Chief Editor Kenny Campbell said: “We have had a lot of strategy and innovation sessions in the past, but this has been by far the best we’ve ever done.”

The Approach:

In partnership with the Møller Centre team at Cambridge University, we convened a group of leaders at Metro including the managing director, chief editor, commercial director, heads of marketing, finance and digital among others to participate in a two-day Accelerated Design Workshop. The goal of the event was to create an 18-month strategy that addressed both how the group would effectively manage the core business as well as pursue longer term growth ambitions in non-traditional spaces.

Prior to the event, our team worked with the MD to define the desired outcomes, and conducted a set of interviews with leaders of each function to identify key issues, required data, and to establish the direction of pre-event research. In addition, a series of smaller workshops were run with groups of high-potential members of the staff to gain a comprehensive understanding of the context and to solicit their perspective as input to the Accelerated Design Workshop.

The group was committed to walking away from the event with a clear set of priorities and a defined set of actions to take forward over the coming year. Elements of our approach included:

By the close of the session, project teams had been created to develop 18-month work plans including individual actions, timelines and accountability for a set of eight transformative projects that the team would continue to work on following the event.