Work Notes #6

Where do I even begin? Maybe it’s best to stick to the calendar, so let’s start with Monday.

Usually, Monday is my only meeting-free day. However, this week it was different. The most exciting appointment was a phone call with Ferdinand, who runs the community team at the news website focus.de. We shared some numbers and ideas because they, too, want to expand their community work.

Later that day, I was invited to speak at an event by Alliance F and their new project Stop Hate Speech. I could explain how we manage comments on Blick.ch and dropped the news that we’re giving a quarter of a million comments to train their algorithm. There’s a video – if you’re capable of understanding German.

Bad quality screenshot

On Tuesday, I was absorbed by team leader stuff and had to prepare the annual appraisal interview. Reviewing goals and setting new ones isn’t much fun. But after the talk, I managed to increase his raise a little bit more and get him into a small leadership seminar.

After these two days, I already felt exhausted. The intensity of the workdays was high; the pressure on making mindful and empathic decisions is significant. However, this pressure is almost entirely caused by myself. And I’m not sure if the pressure is good or bad.

Since I’m now involved in many big projects like Diamond, my superior was conscious of the increased workload. Especially with another big one on the horizon. Managing projects and a team simultaneously is not working. That’s why I’m happy and glad that my friend Karin will join the community team for six months. Her presence will help me to work concentrated on the projects and not worry about the daily business so much. On Wednesday, she came over to sign the contract.

Ignore the weird dude on the left.

The project Blick TV dominated my schedule on Thursday. We tested an idea for a feedback format but discarded it. Nevertheless, it was a fun experience to try out a moderator’s role in a studio. We adapted the idea afterward; now, everyone is satisfied. I’m looking forward to the feedback after Blick TV is live. I will share more details about the process then.

In the evening, I got to attend the executive meeting of the company. I’m apparently on that level now. Some presentations were quite interesting and helped me to understand the decisions and the company as a whole better. I cannot share anything from that meeting – obviously.

And now, we’ve arrived today, on Friday. I spent the day at the media school MAZ in Lucerne, giving my lecture on digital journalism. It’s always a challenge: How will the students react to my more active program? Will they engage in discussions and prototyping? Fortunately, the rather small group of six were a creative and fun bunch to work with. I enjoyed it a lot.

This week, I learned (again)…

  • that I still need to find more time for myself to relax and reflect.
  • that being persistent and reasonable is always the better choice than stubborn and aggressive.
  • that maintaining a flexible, helpful attitude and being mindful about resources is pretty tricky.