Managing Video Teams & Processes — WistiaFest 2015

Sarah Green


Under her tenure as the host of HBR’s IdeaCast, the podcast has twice been nominated for a National Magazine Award and routinely tops lists of the most popular business and management podcasts. Sarah also manages daily content for, edits articles for the website and magazine, edits books and ebooks, and manages the video program.

As a senior editor at the Harvard Business Review, it’s not surprising that Sarah spends lots of her time thinking about how to build better processes for content creation. In this presentation, Sarah shares a number of insights on building a video team and working efficiently around video both from her personal experience producing video at HBR and from academic research on team dynamics.

At HBR, video is their newest format. They’ve learned some early interesting signs — 70% of their viewers are from outside the United States. This data has helped inform their growing video strategy. Green then digs into how they run their video production team at HBR.

According to Green, you have to make your video team as small as possible, not as large as possible. This is because it can be really challenging to coordinate between a ton of people. You have to “protect the project” from having too many cooks in the kitchen.

“ou have to ”protect the project" from having too many cooks in the kitchen.”

Another important point Green brings up, is that overcommunication is amost impossible for effective collaboration. When it comes to creating amazing video content, communicating both formally and informally is key. Green points out that you have to repeat yourself at least twice before people understand what it is you want them to do. According to research by Harvard Business School, people who start out with face-to-face communication and then follow it up with written communication, are far more effective (and more popular).

Last but not least, it costs a lot to be cheap. Cheap is more of a mindset than a budget number. Embrace constraints, but question your assumptions. Refine your video process, document how long your process takes, rely on less emails, and have fewer meetings.

Sarah Green


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