Turnstyle Team Example
I was I totally believe in rehearsals here's what happens in rehearsals? You know, when you have a on opportunity coming up it's significant for you it may be huge may be small but it's significant for you. Several people are going to be involved in the presentation meeting several people are involved on from your team and you know you need the worst thing in the world to do is to go into that presentation meeting with out having everyone on the same page and that's why rehearsals are so important and rehearsals are incredibly uncomfortable at least that's my personal experience, their horrible you feel like an idiot, you're saying that word's out in the air and you know they're kind of not relevant, you know you're practicing, do you know making a presentation and suggest your colleagues with you? And of course they know you really well, so you feel embarrassed? I mean, I have all those feelings and rehearsals, but if you do it, if you simply go through and walk through the words, say...
the words that you're going to say in the meeting when you get to the meeting it's amazingly, how amazing how much better you are simply because you walked through it once with your colleagues around you and the other thing that happens is that you, aline the differences that inevitably arise I mean so one personal have one point of view another personal have another point of view even though you're on the same team there will be differences and the rehearsal allows you to align those differences to talk about it and maybe someone in the group has an idea that will change the leader's view of of how this is going to go and their leaders should be open to that that's the whole purpose of having the group is to advise each other and the leader too. And so the rehearsal is an essential part of aligning the team to be successful with the client and to look, you know, so the other the other aspect is in that presentation to the client basically you're showing the client what it's going to be like to work with them with toe work with your team so you want that presentation meeting to feel completely natural and comfortable and on target and so, um the rehearsal allows you a chance to kind of get that to get that aligned some people everyone on the team must be present and walked through their part. I once went on this was another international thing where we had flown to another country and I had people from different offices we had got twenty five, twenty seven office I can't remember now and we had specialists in each office and often we would combine specialists you know, especially if it was taking a category where we thought it would be an advantage to bring someone in who had experience in the category and they might be from the johannesburg office so they might be from the the hong kong office and they have some specialty experience in this category but we've never worked with them before and so rehearsals are really important then you've got a multinational team you're all flying in someplace to make a presentation to a client that's really important to you, so the rehearsal is a chance for you all to get to know each other a little bit and so on. And once I had a team where a woman who who had some really valuable case study experience that I wanted her to share with this potential class because she worked in the category, she knew these stories upside down and backwards and she absolutely refused to rehearse it was like we're in the morning, the day the same day as the presentation we'd all gotten in the day before and, you know, different time zones and people are a little sleepy and it's ten o'clock in the morning in a strange city and she's like absolutely referring to refusing to rehearse and I said, you know, first I tried to reason with her about why it was important and she was still refusing and I said, well if you're not gonna rehearse, you're not going to be in the meeting because it was that important it was that important to me and then she did she did agree to rehearse, so I really make it a point to rehearse everyone in the team must be present and be willing to do their part uh, one of the other things is not everybody is really good at reading the opposite your opposite members across the table the potential client and usually it's the team leader's job to read the the client and determine what the right thing to do and so one end and to then use your team members to your left and your right as sort of expert witnesses and I mean that's why they're there they're there to represent, you know, like category experience or or creative direction experience or some specialized experience and you and they speak to that and maybe they show slides or show a little movie or or you know, to illustrate their points and but those often those team members are not as good at reading the room that's the leader's job. So one of the things one of the signals that I always arranged in advance was what I called a cutoff symbol, and that meant that if I I always wanted them on my left and my right so I could reach them with my feet and I would kick them under the table if I wanted them to stop talking and I would arrange that signal in advance so it was polite I was in their best interest I wasn't trying to embarrass them, I was just and I would tell him in advance during the rehearsal ok, now if I think we need to change direction and I would like you to just stop speaking, I will give you a little like kick, they won't see it because it'll be under the table and I don't want you to react I don't want you to say anything I want you to just stop talking and I will pick it up from there and we'll go forward and I use that several times with a couple of people who were extremely skilled technically in their area of expertise, but we're not good at reading the room, so I just give a little nudge and he would and he would just stop and I would just pick it up and change the course and no one would even notice it was amazing work great and as long as it was arranged in advance and we all know we're on the same team ted's not doing this to embarrass you or anything else his job is to see where to go next with this that's his job so everyone agrees but it's agreed in advance no surprises because if it was a surprise what would happen so what did you just kick me? Yeah, but if you get there and there's like a glass table kick and that I am thought of that I've never had that happen but it could you're right you're right max that could happen so anyway the polite little kick under the table so with everyone on being needing to be on the team in genius genius great name like that wants to know how do you handle a key team member that's just not into the project and the project can't happen without him or her perhaps internally on your team and not necessarily on the other side yeah uh well I wouldn't have been the meeting I didn't have them being part of the project but I would not happen in a meeting just don't have anything it's a liability immediate don't have him what if they're like a key stakeholders like someone that has to approve or disapprove of it any thoughts on that? Well, if they're a key stakeholder I can't imagine them not being really engaged in the opportunity anybody that's aki stakeholder by you know wood, wood, wood really be engaged you know somehow so um yeah well I think I think what engine what was going on was talking specifically about was more how do you bring people around on your team to seeing the value of what you're presenting to other people oh how do you get them on your side within the how'd you get them excited about the project uh that is a problem it's lots of times with creatives they will say they don't want to be they don't want to work on the project and and what I learned was I did I just didn't involved on I I remember a project once where I got the opportunity to go after this assignment I was in the midwest and I just got this word that we had this shot at this big opportunity and I knew that we were going to go after in this town like real fun to me naturally and uh and so I called I called seattle and I got the our senior creative director on the phone and said, you know, this is a great opportunity I want to go after if you want to be involved in this and he did not want to be involved and I said fine and so I called the hyatt had him send me back to the operator and got one of the other creative directors and got him on the phone and he said yes so I just just don't involve them if they don't want to be involved don't involve them you're either you're either in or you're out you're either committed or you're not committed and you can't have a team member who's not committed and you can't make them be committed I mean, that doesn't work you know? So you're either in or you're out yes sofer someone who's maybe it like a smaller team made me at that point do you go for like a freelancer? Yeah sure. Yeah, you bet yeah, yeah in your case you don't have any staff I don't think that this unknown and and you would call up you'd call it the most likely freelancer to be your team member if they said no way I don't have time or I'm not interested in that client or there's something uh you know, you would call somebody else that's all don't try and twist their arm they you know they're it's a free country, right? Yeah. Yeah. So so some people are very aware of what's going on. Some people are not have a signal in advance that's like thing. Oh, now we're going to do the turn style movie let me tell you a little bit about this first uh this what I'm showing you here on the screen is, uh is a slide that I took just a couple days ago of communication arts magazine, which is sort of the bible the most esteemed design magazine or one of the most esteemed certainly design magazines has been for a long time and getting featured in as a design firm in communication arts magazin is a huge deal it's a huge deal I remember when it happened for me and I was like over the moon over the moon and I still have a bunch of them saved you know and uh turnstile is in this current issue off communication arts magazine and it's a design firm in seattle you may have heard of them and three partners naturally usedto work for me so I have affection for them and I asked them if they would be willing to be interviewed uh a za part of this program and they said absolutely we'd love to but we can't do it during those three days because they're off on it on a major gig and so I went out to their offices and filmed a little video of them in their offices in ballard and it's a lovely office and you'll see a little bit of that in the video and then we talked about how they got started and they're early experiences establishing and kind of coming to grips with their own personal expertise and how they kind of think about that that part of their lives and how it relates to their work today so let's go ahead and run that and run that run that video thank you for thank you for doing this throat I'm messy at the moment but that is not the way most tio you're not really creative unless you're a little messy and visit it was good so one of the things I'm really interested in is, could you tell me the earliest experience that you can remember in your life when you began moving down this path where you are today? I think all kids draw interesting things, all kids draw and express themselves and create things, and, uh, depending on your environment or your parents, your teachers, you get encouragement, and so I got encouragement, and I seem to be good at it. Was I any better at the outset than my peers? Maybe not, but I got encouragement, and so I continued to do because I got that information, I think there's an interesting into that yang there's something in you, too, that there buys that encouragement doesn't because my brother and I mean, my brother could draw better than I could. He was always three years old with mace, of course, you know, kids, that was a big difference way both got encouraged, and I took that to mean that I should just pursue it like crazy, making my career, and he, you know, I went the other direction with it and always felt like, you know, I was encouraged, but he wasn't, but really, you know, he was very talented artist, but I think it was just the way we interpreted that way we picked up on the encouragement right maybe you know I got more enjoyment out of it that he did and so the encouragement meant more to me than it did to him all right well you and the older you get the more our culture at least here in north america like needs out that's not it's not valued right artistic ability or talent is not necessarily your usual academic track so it seems to get less and less encouragement the older you get you take it out yeah you know and I'm a little bit different than them just in terms of my background um for me uh it's um it was about performing in front of people I used to break dance third grade third rated one that'll break and champion and there's this comfort of sort of performing in front of people that let its way to projects I was assigned rather than doing what was expected it was always how do we manifest this performance how do we make this um three play act how do we make this video how can I do something that's slightly different she's sort of harness is this she desired to connect with people differently third grade third grade so that means you were doing that long before that since I realized that my back could spin on ground charges that was it and they all said it was a wire I won the uh art contest in first grade to get my drawing on the cover of the school play and that was a big deal because I was, you know, a first through fifth grade school there was definitely a lot of that in my early career to the the need for like, validation from some outside source this time is going on I feel like it comes more from either satisfaction of a job well done or else you know, seeing seeing it work being work be effective for a client and seeing it pay off more in a literal way, right? You know, happy clients a good too but you know referrals from one point to the next shows that you've done good work. My dad always told this story my dad's a professor so is an academic but he always told the story that his grand parents were farmers and, you know, work sort of that baseline subsistence living and they worked really hard to send their kids to two college basically the first generation there first generation to go to college and they became sort of business people and his parents and they were tired and my dad went on to graduate school and became an academic a phd and so we're moving up this lad of cerebral achievement and he was always a very encouraging of artistic ability said he said you can go on become an artist in that way fantastic. You make no money, so eventually your kids will have to farm again. The cycle will start over. Wait, you're the pinnacle, stevie left out. So what did you think about that possibility you would leave the whole family into into farming is a financial e. I mean, I suppose all humor there's a bit of truth, teo with and that's part of the cultural thing was talking about where there's less value placed upon. He was joking about joking with dr. You kind of had that worry didn't yeah, yeah, right, but and yet I knew it was joking even and I think you talk about how do you how does your early experience in life lead you secretive career? For me, a huge part was parents all sort of encouragement, even into higher education. If that's what I wanted to do is a career, they were okay. In fact, encouraged, it helped me figure out a way to maybe make it successful studio for some strange reason. My parents, too, didn't seem concerned at all by my career choice. Having no practical foundation is first. And you know, I wasn't I didn't pursue design or art because I thought I would make a lot of money off of it but probably because they were both social workers and made no money they figured it couldn't be anywhere described from me a little bit if you could be the next steps those later steps that could be on to take that shaped you was next uh when I was in high school I went to a public high school here in seattle and, uh it was a great school for a lot of things but terrible for art it was just one little window this room with a very you know, sad tenured teacher kind of just running through the road stuff on uh so I uh somehow it snaked a deal where I was able to to take the bus down to a different high school after lunch every day in my senior year and take art classes where it was an art magnet school but anyway, so I went there and I learned you had a great classroom with the really inspired teacher and lots of great materials and you know, they had an airbrush room which time was so cool you drop shadows no pre computer, you know, but they also had a computer lab and I went in there and I learned how to use all this amiga hardware software stuff which was the top of the line at a time and you know it was learning like three d modeling and animation in high school right at which in nineteen ninety two wass you know, not really in high schools that was a big part of it for me you know I was a pretty good student academically so I did a lot science I was pretty good at math so I uh it was the state economy again maybe it's this back to this like is create proceeds valuable or not when I first started college I thought it was going to medicine so I g classes but serve a pre med track and I and I realised some time during that first year that I just didn't want to do that all the school years if it's daunting to me yeah I realized that was sort of squeamish so medicine maybe wasn't us place and so I kind of wanted to figure out how can I not abandoned this love for science is on political side and so again I sort of consulting with my parents my dad is like well, you know, you could go into we've been going to medical illustration you can combine this lover by all sure science with are you know there's a objective it's not just a finer and so I really I went into the aging program uh um in college and then I quickly realized that everything I loved was combining type with images I spend as much time rendering you know hand drawn typography as I did on whatever the subject matter was and then was exposed to graphic designer realized that was better fisher so interested so from breakdancing to university yeah you know, throughout whole of my education I tended to gravitate towards the leadership roles and everything that I did now I could see that I just you know, knows his drive to succeed and itself and be the best and I don't know if I got that directly from my parents or because I have a sister it was four years older than me who was so good at everything that she did that I might always felt like if I didn't do better I would always be in her shadow um and so uh I would inspired by greatness yeah not exactly nice and so I would be the one who would lead the group in a whenever there's a group project I would be the leader would help organize what the plan would be right I would present the work I would make sure that I would be the last eyes on it yes you start to see how this was a perfect fit for what I did today um but the thing that I really enjoyed in college and university was the connecting with people and that was the psychology aspect and I was really I spent a great deal of time working with kids, underprivileged kids in a summer dignan program, and I thought that my I was leaning towards this idea maybe a pursuit in child psychology. But as I further my studies in psychology, social psychology, aspect of why people choose what they choose, what influences us to make decisions fascinated, and it really tapped into and and that's when I discovered that marketing this about time and and so through sort of a course of interesting, that and connections through the first design from I received a job I was able to bring all of these loves you best into actually a career without even realizing that in college or something that what are you going to do? This was not on the list. Well, we knew that you were perfect fit, like from day one remember that really clearly and oh, yeah, I see this we were laughing my very first day on the job, I had lunch with you and carol, which is fantastic, and I was an immediate with steve on an annual report, and ron was talking about these paper dummies, and I'm just making notes of all the words I didn't know in my head, I thought it's actually like a manicure, yes, paper way finally lean over to steven say after the call what is the paper dummy and what was amazing was he spent twenty minutes of his precious time walking me through and fast fired I realized about a lot to learn right but you know, having the danger of jordan yeah exactly but learning by people with their craft and sort of respecting the result was a side of bridges that were in an area that was kind of new friends here for me right I think we got great thank you guys that was fantastic. So left to right in that cliff on the far left was ben graham in the middle is steve watson and on the right mat diefenbach I should have introduced them to to begin um uh very interesting to me was how easy it was for them to to call up where their roots came from you know and they these these universal descriptions of how our expertise begins when we're when we're just starting out and they they they like remember those stories remember that beginning etcetera and so how quickly they they were able teo to bring that up um and the uh when steve mentioned that he was squeamish uh that's something that I've run into a few times in the interviews that I've been doing um creatives often I have such a strong sense of of of feeling that the sight of blood will make them on someone else they will feel it themselves and a couple of the interviews couple of the people I interviewed told me actually pretty visceral stories of a kind of reaction and just shows how in touch they are in there with their feelings that they're actually can feel the pain of the other person. Uh uh, another interesting point. And, uh, third after this clip was photographed, they were videotaped. They they told me about a client in another city that they had just one. And, um and the process of winning this client, uh, they the client came and visited them in their offices. In other words, the client got on the airplane and flew to seattle and visited with them in their offices and visited with some other firms and, uh, the client, then, I guess gathered a proposal from them. I get they didn't tell me that, but it must have been some kind of you know, how we can accomplish for you what it is you want some sort of document and then the, uh the the the rick client then told them that they were down to two finalists. These guys have done nothing. They've made one presentation. The client came and flew to their office for them to make that presentation, and then the client called him up told him to have the dumb it's a clear example of how expertise and a virtuous cycle there, our outbound communications and of course now communication arts magazine, which is a big big arrow in their quiver of outbound communications brings the client to them on their terms on their terms, and, uh, they've been in business for ten years and slowly grown I think their staff is fifteen people now and carefully picking the work that they do that fits the the feeling that they want fits the value system that they have and that's very, very important they have they have a kind of a higher purpose beyond just making money for design. They want the design work to do some particular emotional things, and you see it throughout their work and they don't do projects that don't fit that or perhaps it's more accurate to say they don't publicize projects that don't fit that value system, so they are focused always on building their outbound messaging so that it fits the goals that they have said for their for their firm on that right that'll be amusing in just a second, but a few people elwood's tricks edie nelson, canada and others noticed how many notes you take in, like the video of the meetings here alive while you're interviewing people while you're talking, you're constantly taking notes now is that something that you do with your clients while you are meeting and negotiating is that something you do in with your team? Can you talk a little bit about your note taking and how I organize all that because a lot of people have noticed it and it is something that is that is a little bit different and I love it uh I am a compulsive note taker I am a compulsive note taker I've always been a compulsive note taker my notes are actually almost unreadable um I am a terrible speller and uh so I tried it phonetically spell when I'm taking the notes and often when I go back to the notebook I can't read it myself it is not I have found that taking the notes helps me remember even though I may not be able to read it later and if I while I'm nope taking if I do think it's something that's really important I make much take much more care and trying to get the words down the way I want to remember them so I you know kind of focus and remember I'm dyslexic so I struggle with those issues but I find that the very process of taking notes helps me remember and I do it all the time I do it in any circumstance I never hesitate to take a note and I never hesitate to refer back to my notes and um and I do it and client meetings I do it in presentations I do it all the time. And if I if I'm driving the car and we're going somewhere and there's somebody else with me and all of a sudden something strikes me, I'll ask them if they'll take it down on this, you know, on the sales slip for whatever is in the glove box, and I'll stick it in my pocket. I remember. And then I find all these little pieces of paper later, and I kind of vaguely remember, and once in a while, it actually becomes useful. But but I'm a compulsive, no picker taker, and I think I do it to to retain memory somehow, you know.