Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Crisis management.

For about the past 96-hours I've been dealing with an assignment that's not been making the progress it should be making.

That's a round-about way of saying we've created a lot of decks but not a lot of work. And certain people in both the agency and at the client are, rightfully, getting fed up.

So, people have sprung into action.

Project Managers have descended like mosquitoes on a bare forearm in the Amazon.

About four times a day there's a hot sheet issued.

About six times a day, half hour check-ins are stuck on everyone's calendar, regardless of what else they have on their calendar.

People are running like mad on various hamster wheels.

Perseverating. Finger-pointing. Back-stabbing.

About 35 years ago, I worked as a night-shift cashier in a large liquor store just off of Rush Street in Chicago. I would arrive just before 4PM, walk to the back, find my cardboard time-card and punch in.

There were two things I really liked about that. One was the feeling of "official-ness" I got from my time-card. It was made of a heavy grade of paper and it was not to be trifled with. Neither was the ca-chunk of the time-clock stamping your card. These were symbols of authority made of real hard-core materials. And everyday I wanted to be paid, I had to, in a sense, hand something in to be stamped.

Too often in our business we deal in vapor.

We say, amorphously, that we are "working on something," or "we have a few ideas," or "some thoughts."

But, guess what, we hand nothing in. We literally show up empty-handed.

I think our business and our world would be better off if we always had to show up to meeting with an actual physical manifestation of things we had done or were working on.

Some copy on a sheet of foolscap.

So scrap artwork, a sketch or doodle.

The outline of a spot or a long-form piece.

All on a piece of paper.

That you need to hand in.

And get stamped.

Like a time-clock.

It works.

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