Where do good ideas come from?

Some media organizations get it, and some don’t. Some embrace their public (fans, members, customers, enthusiasts, call them what you will), while others keep that public at a distance. Some media executives know they can inspire a crowd by opening up the corporate conversation, while others keep a tight lid on who says what to whom. Some organizations exude confidence; others don’t. For example….

A few days ago, we received this invitation from NPR, PBS, and American University:

We attended the first PublicMediaCamp at American University last fall, and it was brilliant — an inspiring example of what can happen when you open the doors and let the sun shine in.

Today on the Insider — the National Geographic intranet bulletin that’s hidden behind the Society’s firewall — NG’s Ted Prince issued an invitation (below) to a “digital brainstorming” session for NGS staffers only. Why only staffers? Well, according to Mr. Prince — Executive Vice President of National Geographic Global Media, and the COO of National Geographic Ventures — NG staffers “know Nat Geo best.” That will be distressing news to more than four million Society members out here, some of whom have been dues-paying members for decades, which suggests they too might know something about “Nat Geo” worth sharing.

Reading these two invitations, it’s worth asking: Which one reflects the most organizational optimism and energy? Which invitation just pays lip service to the notion that “good ideas can and should come from anywhere” — and which one actually integrates that idea into the event? Which gathering would you want to attend?

(We can do so much better than this.)

Staff participation sought in digital brainstorming

Article posted on Insider by Karen Gilmour

Invitation from Ted Prince, Digital Media team

National Geographic leadership has and continues to embrace the idea that good ideas can and should come from anywhere. So, in this vein, we want your help to tap into a broad NGS-wide brain trust to generate ideas for the next generation of National Geographic digital apps for the iPad, iPhone and the other various digital & media products soon to hit the market such as the Samsung Galaxy.

Digital Media is organizing a series of brainstorming sessions over the next several months that will be open to all staff who register. Each session, which will be hosted by Digital Media staffers Leigh Brock and Jon Long and scheduled during lunchtime in the Digital Media 4th Floor Conference Room, will be limited to the first 15 individuals who submit digital apps idea summaries (e.g. product name, description, phone/tablet, free/paid, why consumers would be interested, link to mission, etc.). Free lunch will be served.

The first of the App Brainstorm Sessions is scheduled for Tuesday Oct 12, 12-1:30. And remember. If you can’t make this first one, there are more to come in the coming months.

To register, please e-mail or call Jo Dickison (jdickiso@ngs.org ext. 7822). Participants will be enlisted on a first come, first included basis.

Call early to make sure you get in on this first brainstorm session.

WHAT: Nat Geo App Brainstorm Session

WHEN: Five sessions to choose from:

#1 Tuesday Oct 12 12-1:30
#2 Tuesday Oct 26 12-1:30
#3 Tuesday Nov 16 12-1:30
#4 Tuesday Dec 7 12-1:30
#5 Tuesday Dec 21 12-1:30

WHY: To tap into the broad “well” of ideas for the next generation of Nat Geo Aps from the people who know Nat Geo best: Staff.

WHERE: 4th Floor M Street, Digital Media Conference Room

WHO: Brainstorm Sessions will be run by Leigh Brock and Jon Long. Invitation is open to all Nat Geo staff, 15 participants at a time.

HOW: Call or e-mail Jo Dickison (jdickiso@ngs.org or call ext. 7822). First come, first to be included.

BONUS: Free Lunch

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