Last night I had the great opportunity to reconnect with a friend and former co-worker from my days in Mongolia. We had a great time reminiscing and comparing our expat trials and tribulations. All good fun.
However, it stuck with me today and really made me think. A year ago, I really was living in Mongolia. Those were definitely crazy times but worth it personally and professionally.
Here’s a quiet, little blog where I documented parts of the experience: DC to UB.
Working with designers and developers can be very challenging in our line of work. When you are tasked with not only being creative, but providing creative solutions as well, you end up in an interesting place.
You’ve left the realm of existing because you are shooting for something new.
But, if you’re not in that space, you have to find your way into the realm of possibility.
I can come up with 3 million ideas for online engagement, but the million dollar question (sometimes literally…) is whether or not we can build a platform or find one that can be customized to facilitate those ideas. I fully trust my team of designers and developers, so if they say something’s not possible, I’ll believe it.
That said, we were only talking about the execution. The idea can still be brought to life; we just need to pinpoint the right way to do it. This is when the “how might we” question comes into play!
I read this Harvard Business Review post on what they call the “Secret Phrase Top Innovators Use
” and chuckled because I constantly find myself asking this question. You’d be surprised at what you can come up with when “No” is no longer an option.
I recently spoke with a colleague about a project we were working on. To be honest, it was difficult to find a rhythm with people on the project and the feedback we received was not stellar. I could live with it, but it was not what I wanted to hear.
As I shared the feedback with my teammate, she said: “I knew it. I just felt like there was something off and we have never had that feeling with a project before. I could feel it, and they always say that if you’re feeling it, they’re feeling it.”
At the time, I had a feeling too, but I wanted to be optimistic. When there’s an inkling of trouble, my first instinct is to try to fix it – usually by finding a way to deliver more than what is expected. As PR pros we provide a service – be it strategy or outreach or reports. I thought that if I could up the service, the feeling would go away on my side and theirs. Unfortunately, there’s not always enough time to fix the problem this way.
The lesson: You may not always have enough time for the workaround. Explore what you feel…and then hit it head on.
Problem noted. Solution realized.
Hopefully moving forward, the feelings you get from projects and teams are more energetic like those of James Brown or will.i.am.