Designed. By. Committee.
Three little words that burn your tongue, add weeks to your web development, or other creative project, and in the end will result in work of which you may not be proud, or worse, work you won’t show in your portfolio.
When your Emperor wears no clothes, is candor wise ... or career suicide?
It’s an ages-old conundrum: Successfully lead a creative project, meet deadlines and keep your wits (and ego) in check when your Emperor wants to be involved at a granular level (read: art direct), demanding to see it “a little larger”, “slightly bluer”, logo here, there and everywhere, more buttons, more content, (insert scream here). Or, even better, when a single remark from his Empress changes the entire scope of a project?
This is particularly challenging when neither the Emperor, nor his court, have any relative experience.
I’d love to say I have the secret words, beans, sauce, formula or anything else to resolve this, but, I am working to master it myself.
After all, he is the Emperor. It’s his Kingdom. So, at some point, you may decide the hill isn’t worth the fight, knowing you can make changes if analytics show a less than favorable response.
I did pick up a few tricks from a fantastic creative director. His NYC moxy and years of agency experience make him difficult to bully. He probably was the most effective I’ve seen managing an Emperor (and his court) through the creative process, compromising where needed – yet maintaining the integrity of the project.
I don’t see this changing anytime soon ever, particularly in an entrepreneurial company. So instead I will make this blanket plea to Emperors everywhere:
We love you. We admire you. You are phenomenal. Your innovative, unique thinking and vision created the Kingdoms in which we love to work, play and thrive, and for that we are grateful. That said, please try to recognize that your greatness may be better utilized in other areas, outside of the creative arena.
Written with love ….