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Reuters sets new objectives

Reuters set new goals in a programme of objectives and key results being rolled out throughout Thomson Reuters.

The aim is to reduce duplication in the editorial structure, retain most “high performing talent”, increase page views for, cut layers of management, increase the number of women in senior management, and exceed all goals defined in its agreement with its biggest customer for news, Refinitiv (formerly the financial and risk division).

Editorial staff are expected to set three or four individual goals.

The plan was announced by Michael Friedenberg (photo), who joined Reuters in December as president of news and media operations. Previously he was CEO of a media, data and services firm called IDG Communications. Editor-in-chief Stephen Adler reports to him.

Friedenberg wants to “reset, modernize and grow” the business, he told employees in a message on Tuesday.

“We’ll talk more about this approach in coming weeks, but essentially it means reviewing how we currently operate, clarifying our purpose and structure, modernizing our approach to talent, technology and branding, and exploring new growth opportunities,” he said.

Friedenberg defined objectives and key results - “OKRs” - as high-level targets that should help guide decisions. Objectives “are qualitative, aspirational and provide direction”. Key results are specific benchmarks used to measure progress on the objectives. “OKRs will be updated quarterly; we reprioritize as we learn and as we go.” They “should help us think big, move fast and keep it simple!”

The organisation also wants to improve its gender diversity within senior management to 40 per cent female. The current percentage of female senior managers was not disclosed.

In an email to staff, Friedenberg wrote that the goals and objectives “reflect a sharp customer focus and the ambition to simplify, modernize and grow our business, while making sure we enhance our world-class journalism and maintain our steadfast commitment to the Trust Principles.”

The goals and objectives include:

  • Align editorial structures to reduce duplication and work more globally
  • Retain 92 per cent of high performing talent
  • Exceed all quality, speed and volume goals as defined in the news agreement with Refinitiv
  • Reduce layers to six
  • Continue to develop a more diverse and inclusive culture
  • Increase page views for visitors by 30 per cent.

Thomson Reuters is also taking a new approach to goal setting and managing performance with a focus on feedback throughout the year and an emphasis on “development and impact”.

Individuals’ initial three to four goals “should be ambitious and measurable, focus on a few months instead of the full year and broadly support our Reuters OKR”.