Failure to Communicate

Sometimes, as I lumber through work-a-day befuddlement, I forget that as a creative professional (sic: I write and design things, as opposed to sell things or perform mathematics), my perspective is both unique and esoteric when pitted against my more business-oriented counterparts within the company. Although things make sense to me a certain way, and my decisions and workflow follow a certain line of logic, non-creatives (sic: people who think of project management in terms of manufacturing industry maxims, and at least pretend to perform mathematics) not only don't conceive of things the way I do -- they can't follow my logic.

This isn't an accusation of inferiority or flaw; in many ways, the 5S and Six Sigma and ISO techniques that define their perspectives on workplace efficiency are most likely more sound than my processes. It's just an acknowledgement that our brains think in different languages. Let's say mine functions in French and theirs function in COBOL. Which tends to cause no small amount of frustration in my line of work.

I have several friends who are also in creative fields, and I often hear about their similar frustrations. Arguments in the workplace bloom over word choice in brochures because product managers think words mean things that they don't. Brochure designs cause process meltdowns because halfway through development, the Vice President of Market Strategy redefines key product value propositions. Landing pages dissolve professional relationships because Finance refuses to approve the promotions Sales and Marketing have agreed upon. And the creative team is always left in the lurch, and from the creative perspective, completely disenfranchised.

These kinds of things, and the way we are approached, get the better of our emotions at times. It feels as if our work is thought of as constantly fluid, easily changed, and the most dispensable part of the business mix. The rest of the process that's lead down the road of project oblivion seems disorganized and reckless. Why have us do all the work if the goal is unclear? Why task us to write content if the product isn't complete? Why engage our time in wasted effort?

In situations like this, it's important to remember: we're just one part of a massive and complex machine. The speed of business has increased to a degree that requires constant forward motion, regardless of a guaranteed conclusion. I try to keep this in mind when I'm mystified by the futility of so much of what I work on; even up to the top ranks, no one can escape the speed of business. In small ways, it helps keep me from being reactive.

Then, I make videos like this:

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