Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Vendors, Creative, and The Process

Today must have been "vendor" day... at least according to my posts. In a few days we come to another hurdle in the process of refreshing the image of my firm, and the creative talent behind most of what we've accomplished so far is frustrated. I could hear it in his voice as we talked; So I asked. And the conversation was frank.

Too many changes (fussing); Each item is taking too long; Too many art directors. Sound familiar? And I'm not even an attorney (that's not a 'dis on attorneys!). Have I become too focused on details beyond what is reasonable? Am I getting in my own way by being to demanding and detail oriented with the creative talent?

At least for tonight (and this may change tomorrow) here is what I think. The very talented people I'm working with have never worked with a law firm before. The back and forth that usually happens in several days is taking several weeks; Each step an excruciating exercise in patience while we wait for the next meeting of the committees, all the while working behind the scenes to find and build opinion.

This is hard stuff! It is frustrating! Yet, it's not going to change too much too soon. This is how law firms go about the business of change.

I remember when I had my own marcom firm with software companies as clients. We'd travel at light speed from concept to complete. Meetings came daily. Results within hours. At my clients I was blessed with decision circles of one, two, or three people. Approvals came as fast as ordering dinner at Denny's.

That is not how law firms (or any large partnership) work. At my firm there are a minimum of 20 people earnestly interested in being part of the decision. There are many, many more that at least want to be heard. It's a tough process!

So there you go. That's my tale for tonight. Tomorrow we start again... in the middle. I hope the creative talent will find new reservoirs of patience and strength.