Ask The People Doing The Work

If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a thousand times. C-suite, Veeps, Directors, Managers – all making decisions on solutions based on their vast knowledge of how stuff gets done in an agency.

Bet they didn’t ask the people who are actually doing the work.

I know, because I’ve been there.

Something is awry. Throw something at the problem. Like software. Or a New Process.

Layers upon layers of awesome solutions thrown at problems – often at a significant cost to the agency – and always at a significant cost of employee time. Time spent to figure out what the heck to do with that new, awesome solution.

So the people doing the work find ways to make that solution work. To fix things. That’s what solutions are supposed to do.

But without a deep understanding or even a simple evaluation of what’s going on, those solutions become problems themselves.

How do we use this new thing? Who is actually going to figure it out? Is there a standard for how we’re going to roll it out? Was everyone even notified that this was comin’?

I can speak from my own experience, and from the experience I experience whenever I work with a client that has to fix something that is just plain screwed up.

The powers that be are considering new tools or processes. When it reaches the point where the blame game is being played out every day, you have to talk to the people doing the work to find out what is wrong.

Problems, issues, complaints rise to the surface faster than bubbles on that frosty microbrew at 4pm on Friday. You have to get to the bottom of the issue before you throw a solution at a problem.

Your staff is the greatest resource to solving problems – and evaluating solutions.

Start there. It’s so much faster.

And by the way. I love the complaint department. Don't ignore them.

They have laser vision when it comes to problems.


the world did not end

Since we’re all still here, and perhaps you’re stuck in the office because the powers-that-be decided the office should stay open (but they’re out until after the New Year), spend the next few days and clear some clutter.

Make a list of those pesky things that you really need to get done – and do them while no one is there to bug you – or place judgment as to why you’re rearranging things.

Get rid of old files. Organize your desktop folders. Clean out all that ‘scrap’ for those long gone projects that are filling up hard drives and servers.

Decide on how you want to manage your work, your clients and your colleagues this coming year. Look for ways to make it easier for everyone around you. And actually make an effort to do so.