Tuesday, June 19, 2012
10 ways we can improve how we work
1) Respecting other people's schedules.
If I tell you I'm going to have X done by a certain time, and you schedule your day around that, and I don't deliver, or even notify you of the change, you wouldn't be happy. Don't expect others to move the world around for you if you have epidemic issues with completing your work on time.
2) Understanding when someone says, "I'm busy now, let's schedule a time later."
Walking up to someone's desk and demanding their time right then is rude. If someone is in the middle of the creative process, or even writing a business proposal, there should be enough brain cells in your head to understand that "I'm busy, let's talk in a little while or set up a time to talk" doesn't mean "Yes, I'm free to spend 20 minutes reviewing your changes because whatever it is that you have to talk about is more important than anything else I could be doing at the moment". In fact, the majority of people who tend to pull this wouldn't stand for it to happen to them for a second. The only time this is even remotely acceptable is if you're speaking Greek and the person you're talking to doesn't understand a lick of the language. And let's just say the chances of that being the case are about as slim as
3) The bullshit artists. Kill them now.
There's always someone who seems to trollop through the mire and yet always end up smelling of roses. How? They pawn work off on other people. They manipulate others, craft emails to make others they work with look bad, and generally refuse to take any blame for poor work or lack of work. Stop letting them work their way up the ladder. If you don't stick your foot out and trip them, you're responsible for making other people's lives hell, until someone has the balls to do it. Dead weight does not help you get anywhere…
I find it extremely depressing, considering the field we are in (communications, if you didn't know), how many people are very poor communicators. It's really not all that hard. Just think for a second before you shoot off an email, even take the extra minute to re-read what you wrote so you can be sure it makes sense. Keep people in the loop. Let them know of changes in schedules. Tell them the information that you just received from a client about the project you're working on.
5) Time management.
People who love to have meetings for the sake of having meetings. Those who give themselves a week to do their work but make others turn it around in a day, sometimes less. Continual revision after revision. Having no idea what you want but you need it yesterday. These are all things that can be avoided. Yet it happens all the time.
6) Taking credit for other people's work.
Advertising is a team business. You work together. Ideas build off other ideas. It's cumulative. It's difficult to be good and not be a team player.
7) Play your roll, let others play theirs.
There's a reason you're an AE and not an art director or copywriter. There's a reason you're a media buyer and not a planner. Sure you can have ideas and work together (see #6), but respect the fact that someone who is laying out an ad or designing a website knows what they are doing to best communicate to the user/consumer/etc. And, yes, you can have an opinion but, when it comes down to it, the reasoning to use X font size or a certain phrasing should be left to the experts. Knowing how to use Word does not a copywriter make. Being able to create a PowerPoint presentation does not give you a degree in graphic design, so put away your fade in reveal skills and leave it to the professionals. P.S. - we use real tools like Creativity and Common Sense.
8) Respect the process.
Just because your boss or client lights a fire under your ass to get something completed does not mean that you can skip the set up channels to get your project to the front of the queue. There's a reason why creative briefs were created. Complete one. It won't kill you. Half-assing the process just leads to more wasted time in getting your project done.
9) Respect people's intelligence.
Don't ask the same question over and over. Especially right after another. It makes you seem like you don't ever listen or think they are a moron. "Did you send the PPT doc? So, they got the doc? Are you sure they got it? So, they should be all set?"
10) We're not saving lives. Have fun.
Let's not kid ourselves here. Sure we're dealing with lots of money in some cases, but no one will die if something goes out late. Keep it in perspective and have fun. You're doing something that many others would like to be doing. Don't forget that.