Finding Objectivity to Make You Great Again
There was a pretty great podcast we listened to a while back that holds a lot of good insights we still keep in mind today. These are insights that ring true for almost anyone who’s in marketing—well, even if you’re not in marketing, really.
While we probably won’t go into all the reasons why clients end up hiring you, we will talk at length about one of the reasons they do. It’s a particularly critical idea to keep in mind no matter what industry you work in. That reason is objectivity.
Think about this for a moment:
Have you ever been so convinced of something that you were willing to argue about it at length, without having read at least one or two case studies that tested that hypothesis and demonstrated significant results? (assuming they could)
Have you ever made a decision that you were convinced was right, but never stopped to ask whether people thought you were crazy to do so?
These are some classic examples of being on the inside, looking out.
Often, we just need someone to challenge our thinking and tell us about a different way of looking at a problem. This is a fairly easy way to reach a different solution. Not to say there’s anything wrong with some of the decisions we make—just that keeping our thinking insular will definitely keep us from seeing all the possibilities ahead. That can be dangerous when you’ve got something important, like a personal business, riding on only one wave of thinking. That’s why companies make diversity hires and hire consultants. It’s important to hear different perspectives than your own, or the people you regularly surround yourself with.
Like Blair Enns says in his book, The Business Of Expertise, "You cannot read the label if you're inside the jar." If you’re working with a client and they have been working with the same team on the same ideas for years, you’re going to see a lot of the same information coming out over time. You can only make as much progress as the people you rely on to come up with ideas. Experiences are what push us (and the envelope) forward.
In an article by Theo Fanning, about hiring an outside agency for your internal agency, the writer says:
“In short, living and breathing a brand can blind people to new perspectives; they are are unable to see the forest for the trees.”
It’s like growing up homeschooled and thinking you might just be the best painter who ever lived—only to find out there’s some guy out there named Pablo Picasso who already made things pretty confusing in that department.
You just can’t be great at everything. As an/a (insert: creative shop, advertising agency, marketing collective), we know that well. We know we can’t do everything, all the time, but we do know the right professionals who can help us make it happen.
Advice is kind of priceless. Just ask (anyone) us!