“We don’t want to be known for creating brilliantly crafted failures.”
Well. In business one of the difficulties in caring about what you do, and how you do it, is that solutions are rarely just a … well … solution. That said. If you give half a shit, inevitably you desire to craft a brilliant solution. Sometimes elegant, sometimes brutal, sometimes sleek, sometimes ponderous, but always brilliantly crafted.
Here is where issues rear their ugly heads. The doubters or the challengers in the organization around you attack how it has been crafted and not whether it will achieve the desired outcome <albeit they will do so under the guise of ‘concerns it will not do what we need done’>. They will begin picking apart the crafting and then, well, it is no longer brilliant.
Now. While simplicity is always nice it is more often not practical <or reality>.
Business is complex.
Solutions tend to be complex.
Solutions often need to be brilliantly crafted.
And, yes, there are some people who get so caught up in building beautiful solutions that they lose sight of reality and purpose, but they are truly in the minority.
We <99% of business people who know their shit> are truly not in the business of building brilliantly crafted failures. I say this from practical experience because advertising agencies, in particular, are always being pointed at and slammed for just being creative and not caring about the business, i.e., “all you want to do is wacky advertising.”
And every time I hear someone say this I think it is the silliest thing I have ever heard. Maybe even the stupidest thing I have ever heard. I know for sure I want to say how dumb that comment is.
That is why I like what my friend, and a great creative director, said. He took the high road. Brilliance in craft and results are not mutually exclusive. In this concise statement he says we will always seek brilliantly crafted creative solutions, but always with the intent to drive results, to attain the objective, to fulfill its purpose <note: however you want to define purpose – a sale, traffic to ideals, societal impact>.
The only people who truly only care about brilliantly crafted solutions <and not about purpose or outcome> are hacks. They are business people who don’t understand stimulus response, cause and effect, halo effect, brand molecules, or any kind of ‘creating attitudes to generate a specific behavior’ thought process.
In other words. They are hacks.
Let me be clear. There is no credible marketing or advertising agency in the world that doesn’t understand they are in the business of creatively generating business.
Because people confuse ‘complicated’ & ‘brilliantly crafted.’
Far too many people will <most often in hindsight> suggest the solution was too complicated or that ‘we didn’t need to craft it that way’ and begin creating a thread of doubt in the value of brilliantly crafted solutions. And in a business environment when people want to ‘point & shoot’ and ‘go with your gut’ and ‘if it isn’t simple enough it won’t work’ or ‘make mistakes faster’ it is very easy to do this.
Unfortunately he majority of the time those trite ‘business semi-truths’ just do not work.
Here is why brilliantly crafted solutions matter. Organizations are big randomly moving fragments swirling within some confines of a purpose <only tangible in that most often they can be found in buildings with neat conference rooms and walls and a big window or two>.
Consumers <or people in general> make organizations look almost stagnant in comparison. Perceptions, attitudes & behaviors don’t just swirl … it is more like sheer chaos with some random moments where they coalesce into some amoeba like semi-formed object … only to explode into new small life forms and roam all over again.
Brilliantly crafted solutions create a cohesive moment.
Brilliantly crafted solutions bring a sense of order to chaos.
Brilliantly crafted solutions are solidly consistent yet adaptable as it comes to Life.
Brilliantly crafted solutions are often complex.
And, they are often complex because … well … they are brilliant.
I say all this because no good business person is ever in the business of creating brilliantly crafted failures.
And I tend to believe more of us should be interested in the ‘creating brilliantly crafted’ portion. We tend to quickly focus on ‘success’ <versus failure> and results more so than crafting something brilliant.
This implies all journeys to the destination are of equal value. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Yes. We cannot always create a brilliantly crafted solution … I know that. But we should be almost always at least seeking it.
Not all solutions are created equal.
Not all successes are created equal.
Not all brilliant crafted solutions are actually brilliant.
Look. None of us should be in the business of creating brilliantly crafted failures, but all of us should be in the business of creating brilliantly crafted successes.