Bee Labs is a place. It’s a room where collaborative thinking is taking place at the Sacramento Bee. The idea is really the work of Sean McMahon, our director of digital.

People sign up for a time to meet and discuss ideas and brainstorm how to solve a problem originating from any division of the company – news, audience, advertising – or even from working directly with clients on business issues.

While this is not something new (many have set up such arrangements years before), I think the process is even more important today.

I recently read a headline that stated, “Digital Ad Players Shift from Selling Eyeballs to Business Outcomes.” That’s a pretty solid summarisation. We need to sell actions not advertisements, audience and ROI not products. What we sell must deliver measureable results that the business client values.

We are in an era where selling is more complex, data heavy, and consultative than ever before. The collaboration within the Bee Lab pays dividends through bigger thinking, resulting in a better approach, whatever the opportunity.

Besides, everyone loves a whiteboard session, especially wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling. It provides effective results and people have fun with it.