I remember my mum saying to me “You’re so black and white!”. Seriously, like this morning she said that to me. And she wasn’t talking about the fact I only wear black and white.
And I know it’s true, so it’s something I have to watch myself with. It’s this or it’s that.
It’s mainly when it comes to values I think.
Just fyi, don’t’ get me started on diversity, racism or loyalty – #ijustcanteven
But I think that black and white filter is something that actually helps me in my role now.
Not in terms of taking sides, but more in terms of seeing through the chatter and getting to the heart of an issue.
And 99% of the time, the issue is communication.
So this was a conversation I had with an account management colleague the other day.
“…GenY think they’re entitled to x,y,z, and creatives keep messing up my process, and…” – not my words people, just paraphrasing!!
My question was simply ‘do they know what you want?’.
Do they know what process it is you’re working to? Do you? Or is it just how you think it could or should or ‘has always’ been done?
It’s quite amazing how much emotion, politics and frustration could be avoided by a one page cheat sheet.
So to use this example.
Does everyone (not just ‘gen-y’) know exactly what the terms of entitlements actually are? First world problems I know, but what exactly are the rules around days in leiu, getting taxi’s, claiming back dinner if you’re working late etc.
And what is the process across the agency for taking a project from brief to go-live? This one has to be a bit more flexible, but honestly a lot of the time it’s just that the planners don’t know what the creative need to do, who don’t know what account management need to do, who don’t know what production need to do to get their job done.
The first one is pretty black and white to be honest. As soon as you start making exceptions, it’s out the window.
The second situation is a guide. It’s also often an eye opener for the wider team on what everyone else is doing and how long they need to do their job.
Some people (particularly my mates in production) will be freaking out right now that such a thing might not already exist ;)
Others will know that ‘we have one of these somewhere’.
Others just don’t have these things in place.
Whatever the reason, or the stage you’re at, it won’t take you more than a day to create/reinvent/spruce up these and have them stuck up on peoples’ desks to refer to.
Until further notice, assume that everyone who’s pushing your buttons is doing so because they don’t know any better.
Give them the information, collaboratively and THEN if they try to claim a pizza at 7.01pm every night and jump in a cab straight home…you can open up that dialogue again ;)
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