10 New Years Resolution for Design Firms

To kickoff the new year I was inspired to develop a list of the top 10 resolutions (plus one more for good measure) I recommend for principals or managers of creative teams.

Partnership Clarity

Having worked with many creative teams led by partners, I often observe that the principals struggle with role clarity as much as their team does. Many creative partnerships are composed of two creatives, and it is often unclear who does what when it comes to the less “fun” stuff involved in running the business. In response, I have developed the following list of seven core areas of responsibilities that each partner must assume.

Inspiration from the founder of Twitter

Jack Dorsey has two full-time jobs: executive chairman of Twitter and CEO of Square. That is impressive. I have to believe his success in forming and running these two highly successful and innovative companies must be a testament to great time management skills. Recently featured in Fast Company’s March issue highlighting the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies, he explained his schedule:

The 80/20 Rule

I recently was perusing an article, in the NY Times, about a senatorial judiciary process and read about an important rule of testifying called the 80/20 rule. If the person testifying talks 80 percent of the time and the judge talks 20 percent, the judge is winning. This intrigued me. I could easily see this rule applying to our relationship with our clients. I often have found that the most successful new business meetings and presentations are when the designer is less dominant and is skilled in the art of listening to a client. I’m betting, based on experience, that if a designer talks only 20 percent of the time and spends more time listening, the meeting would be more impactful.

Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)

Recently, I’ve been researching best practice strategies that accommodate the diverse and challenging needs required to effectively manage a multi-generational creative team. This entry, highlights one practice in particular that is gaining some attention and has already demonstrated great successful results.

Left-Brain Staff Management Strategies for Right-Brain Firms

Design firms and creative groups continually struggle with negotiating and organizing their staff management strategies and organizational models around the most appropriate mix of left- and right-brain thinking. In this article you will learn that with the right amount of rigorous planning, a creative team with left-brain skills can function more efficiently and produce innovative solutions.

Are Consultants in Your Future? A Guide To Outsourcing

In order to achieve a wide range of professional goals, many creative individuals and firms will explore the possibility of hiring a consultant to provide additional guidance in a variety of business-related areas. In order to achieve maximum productivity and effectiveness from such a relationship there are many important issues to consider. This article sketches out a step-by-step outline for hiring and working with the best and brightest consultants.