You’re Going the Wrong Way

wrong way sign.jpg

A long time ago, before there were cell phones, I was driving home and as I came to the stop sign on the exit ramp, a little old lady was turning onto the exit ramp, maneuvering to get around me.

I honked and flashed my lights, and she stopped. I rolled down my window and said, “You’re going the wrong way!”

She smiled and nodded, “Yes, I know, I know!” Then she proceeded to enter the freeway.

Fortunately, there was a 7-Eleven right near the exit with a working pay phone. 911 calls were free, which was good because I didn't have any change.

I called the police, gave them a description of the car and driver, and they said they’d look for her.

I didn’t see anything on the 11pm news that night, so I guess the little old lady must have made it to where ever she was headed – safely.

A couple things come to mind in this story:
 - Someone was going the wrong way, who was in danger to herself and others, and I tried to intervene. Unsuccessful at that, I took the next step to get someone else – who had more authority and greater resources – to take over.
 - The technology of the times (this was 1982) was not immediate. I had to get to a working phone, make the call and wait until news at 11 to find out if she made the headlines. Fortunately, she did not.

This is relative to the way we do things today.

In advertising / marketing, everything is immediate. We operate trauma-esque centers that create and transmit messages to consumers at alarming rates, and at a volume where it all gets lost in the blur. Technology has allowed us to do a lot more – faster than ever.

How can you increase volume and speed safely – without errors?

In an agency or in-house marketing department, we put processes in place because of the speed at which we’re traveling in 2013.

We must to take those steps – in order – to ensure a good outcome. It’s like putting up a Wrong Way sign at the freeway off-ramp. They are reminders, and should be no-brainers. Yet, some people choose to ignore them.

Then we have to call the cops to apprehend those who don’t follow the most basic of rules.

Technology has allowed us to travel at warp speed, and gives us the tools to perform and respond more effectively. Process provides the rules so you don’t crash.

And when you disobey the rules of process, your Project Manager pulls you over.

Life is so much easier if you just follow the basic rules.