Great ideas can come from the source you least expect. In companies where ideas fuel the business it is easy to fall into a trap of non-disclosure. Someone comes up an idea and they want to own it, grow it and execute it. They want to perfect it before they show it.
What most professionals don’t realize is that a good idea has the potential to grow into a great idea, and all it takes is a little collaboration. Inviting others to give their input opens the door for “outsight” -- ideas to help influence the project from an outsider’s perspective.
The thinking is that the client and our self-directed, client-based teams make the decisions on the work. Not department directors. The cultural element that adds creative power and security to this model is an understanding that all work will be subjected to the opinions and feedback from the entire agency. We call it "putting more brains on the work." It begins with commitments from the associates when they join our group that they will expose their work as it moves through its stages of development. It's enforced by peer pressure. After all, our work is shown to thousands and often millions of people. So it’s smart to take the time to get the opinions of at least our associates.
Some of the factors that led to the development of these feedback devices are:
1. The speed at which jobs are produced nowadays often doesn't allow for copy testing. This increases the risk that the intended message may not be the message received or remembered.
2. The cost of a mistake can be crippling considering the large number of people who see our work and can be affected by it, and the cost of the media required to reach them.
3. We're capitalizing on the chance to improve the work by getting more minds on it – more ideas, more proofing.
4. People working day-to-day on an account can develop personal and team tunnel-vision. Fresh thinking from outside sources helps eliminate this problem.
Once again, our basic philosophy is reinforced: Find great people, bathe them in feedback and get out of their way as they make the decisions they're best prepared to make.
The Harvard Business Review offers a good article on the subject. http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/06/let_your_ideas_go.html
Do you feel it’s safe to share your ideas while in the embryonic stage? How do you ensure there is a collaborative spirit embedded in your team dynamics? Tell us about ways you have to make this happen.
Joe Phelps | CEO