The blog The Dots, and the process of connecting the dots, is not a forced activity. Concepts we hope may inspire thought and dialogue or influence positive work behaviors are also posted in our Podcast, our YouTube Channel, LinkedIn Articles and in our NLAChicago Report. We post based on where the audience may best receive the information considering the content and by listening to audience preferences. This flexibility has worked for us. As the world changes, we’ll no doubt likely change again. When I’m greeted with a demand for communication or to meet a deadline with no teeth, I sometimes reply with:
“the creative process is nurtured and not demanded.”
That comment is often met with a bit of perplexed contemplation. It makes an impact though. It gives me some space to continue working on a project versus writing a report that demonstrates I’m working on a project. It also helps me to protect the creatives and engineers doing the work. Such is The power of words.
It’s a true statement. The creative process is nurtured. Most of the work world today is trying to innovate and problem solve. Measurements of success that worked in an Industrial Age aren’t the most effective any longer.
To further define ‘nurture’ I lifted and paraphrased from dictionary.com are:
‘to feed and protect’
‘to support and encourage’
‘to raise up’
So why so deadline driven when working with idea development? Is the deadline real? ie we will get funding if we develop something by this date, is it customer driven ie we will lose a customer if we don’t do this activity and this date.
If the deadline is real, I have a couple of suggestions: meet it . . . or . . . push back. Pushing back is an option when your relationships are strong and a partnership exists. If you need to convince an investor that progress is being made, have them observe the progress vs stopping progress to report.
Daily, weekly or impromptu huddles are more productive than perfectly formatted, polished reports delivered on time, which may or may not be read.
Consider hiring a meeting scribe, and important role that is often overlooked. Someone to capture ideas and nuances is a critical success factor. This is a great job for a college intern, an apprentice or even a contract writer.
Demonstrate to your investors that progress is being made and great things will be achieved. Create a partnership of trust by communicating regularly and fluidly. If your relationship with your client or prospect is strong (if you want a competitive advantage it should be) keep demonstrating progress along the way, show milestones, allow them to be part of the problem-solving process. Demonstrate accountability and transparency on all levels.
You’ll have a great story to tell around how you’ve achieved success (or what you learned when you missed the mark) highlighting the challenges, roadblocks, and lessons learned. You’ll have a strong foundation for future success, sound relationships bonded through positively solving challenges, learning from each other, holding each other up, removing barriers and depending upon each other letting the best idea, guided by the companies vision and edited by its values, win.