Sneaking the Sage

My grandfather wasn’t known for communication skills. He rarely talked to me or anyone besides his golf buddies and my grandmother. He was also a man of conviction. One conviction was that Thanksgiving stuffing must contain copious amounts of sage.

My stepmother did not share his conviction that sage was a necessary ingredient on turkey day.

This led him to do the unforgivable. He snuck the sage in my stepmother’s thanksgiving stuffing. Imagine her shock and displeaure when she smelled the aroma and took her first bite. She felt he had ruined a very special dinner over which she had slaved the entire day.

It easy to understand my stepmother’s feelings. My grandfather had put his thumbprint on her creative effort. And she had lost ownership.

In creative business, CDs, Account Executives, producers and clients are always trying to sneak the sage rather than communicate with the creative team. How many CDs have rewritten the headline in a pinch because there was a deadline and the writer wasn’t at his desk? Or asked the studio artist to make a design change without the Art Director’s approval? Or even worse is when the creative director just changes the ad for entirely subjective reasons without consulting their team.

Sneaking the sage is a great way to demoralize your team and lose their trust. Bring your people along for the ride, and who knows, maybe they have a better solution than yours. And if they’re not grown up about the realities of making changes, it’s your job to educate them.

Posted on: June 20, 2017, by :