As in any organization, you constantly look at what you do, then take a good, hard look and ask why you do it.
"Because we have always done it that way" is not a reason to continue along a path that may be a dead end. The effort put forth should produce some value in the end product.
It's part of the evolution process companies go through, and this week, The Daily Star has two exciting launches that I want to tell you about.
On Monday, we started a weekly feature, "My turn." It is a community-based guest column that is anchored on the Community pages of your local newspaper.
Our local area has a lot to offer, including experts on topics that affect us all. So, why not have them share their expertise?
Knowledge is power, and the more informed we all are, the better off we will be.
Now, I know that our Opinion page prints community opinions through letters to the editor, but this is different.
While this column is still the writer's opinion, its focus is to educate and tackle subjects that many of us face. It can give a more varied point of view _ or a real-world perspective, if you will _ than a news story might allow.
If you missed the inaugural column (online at www.thedailystar.com/columns/local_story_061044502.html), Scott Davis, chief executive officer of Country Club Automotive Group, talked about the General Motors organization and state of the auto industry.
But he also went further, describing how local dealers contribute to our economy and how we all must do our part by working together and supporting local businesses.
The essence of this new feature was embodied in his column _ we are bombarded with national and state issues, but when it boils down to it, don't we really care about the local impact?
By enlisting many folks to write on subjects that we eat, breathe and sleep, I hope you will find the information useful.
These nontraditional columnists are expressing opinions and viewpoints that may disagree with those of The Daily Star. But they are sure to spark conversation and get us talking about local issues.
Now (drum roll, please) "¦ Today is a big day for my team that has been working hard to produce a new product.
The Daily Star is excited to launch The Weekly Star, a free publication that can be found most anywhere our daily product is sold.
Every Friday, we will present a week in review of our top stories and really focus on the positive news within our communities.
Included each week will be a two-page photo array _ sometimes of events and pictures our readers have sent in, sometimes a collage of a prominent community event shot by our award-winning photographers.
The classified section will be a primary spot to announce an article for sale and attract buyers.
Let's face it, in these economic times, things lurking in the garage could bring needed funds, but you have to let everyone know about your hidden treasures.
All the private-party articles for sale will be advertised for FREE. Yes, I said it, FREE in this weekly product to put buyers and sellers together.
Maybe funds aren't flowing and you want to explore a swap. Well, those are free, too!
We don't always have the ability to be super upbeat on The Daily Star front page because of the news of the day. But this new product can focus on community happenings and events that put a smile on your face and offer other features that are not included in The Daily Star.
I encourage you to pick up a copy and check it out. Then, drop me a line and let me know what you think. Your feedback is imperative and genuinely wanted.
I will be the first to say I don't have all the answers or _ gasp _ know everything. That's why you will drive what this product becomes. I hope to hear from you.
On the smoking front, the only positive news I have to report is that I have not regressed. I am still holding my own. At a community luncheon, I talked to several people who recognized me because of the photo that accompanies my column.
I have a few nicknames that I have found humorous, such as The Smoking Lady or The Newspaper Chick (and some more that I am sure haven't been shared), but it got me thinking. At least folks can relate to what I'm doing or root for me to kick the habit. Nonetheless, I hope more readers will join me in my quest to quit smoking, or we will all be finding our pocketbooks lighter come April when cigarette taxes go up.
Tanya Shalor is publisher of The Daily Star and may be reached at (607) 432-1000, ext. 214, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Her column appears every other week.