Friday, 17 June 2011

Fear (only exists in your head)

have been involved in two high profile projects recently where two or three people have to make decisions on material that will broadcast to many thousands of people.  There is obviously a lot at stake.  Reputation, brand, engagemnet, senior reaction, stakeholder (hate that word) reaction, shareholder value and so on.

This is all factual and unavoidable.  It's impossible to so a 'something' in the business context with out an  reaction from the business as that 'something' happens.  It would appear the laws of physics seem to translate into human behaviour however.  Why is the 'something' always going to be met with an equal and opposite reaction?  In other words, why do people who make decisions often (but not always) default to the "if it could offend, it will"?  As a result, all the creative language, metaphor, expression and re-expression, freedom and anti message is swiped away and the final idea is... well... beige.  Boring. unimpactful. bland.

Everything appears like the walls of a new home.

It's almost as if people are rewarded for NOT upsetting people and avoiding failure, rather than praised and rewarded for thinking differently and creating the un-expected. As a result, the marketeers, the internal comms professionals and the brand ambassadors all go back to the Monday meeting with the same challenge they had at the start of the project.  Only this time they've the experience of executing a thoroughly unoffsensive campaingn.

Maybe fear is just in our head.  I've never known anyone get the sack for doing their job.  I have heard of people get the sack for shagging someone on the photocopier after hours, but not for trying things differently.

Fear isn't part of the project.  It doesn't arrive in a box. it is though energetic. It is passed on from one person to another and it grows when more people are born into the idea of failing.

I'd ask we all suspend the biological default.  There are no more tigers at the mouth of the cave so it's okay to step outside.

Only the good die young.
Only the safe projects get forgotten.


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