Monday, December 13, 2010

The Disappearance of Championing

In a world where the spectacular is valued above all else… it is becoming more difficult by the day to be passionate and deliver above and beyond expectations. Increasingly, an overly bureaucratic process coupled with a general unwillingness to risk championing is the enemy of spectacular.

All too often, competing responsibilities, documentation, lack of knowledge, the need to be inclusive and politics results in very pedestrian, unimaginative media and communications projects. As companies and organizations have sought to gain control of budgets through technology the ability to champion unique or innovative solutions has been lost. The dizzying speed at which we must adapt to new technology is driven by a bureaucratic process with little consideration for wonderment, comprehension and behavioural change.

Gone are the artistic enhancements and creative touches that allow new media to speak to us in an emotional and responsive way. Changing behaviour and influencing decisions is a learned art that demands a unique combination of experience, creativity, technical savvy and a genuine sensitivity for the human condition. Story telling is still what it’s all about and to develop this kind of messaging demands championing.

As we have moved from a largely aural tradition of storytelling to modern multi-media extravaganzas …somehow the subtleties of story telling have been overwhelmed by “the cost of doing business” We seemed to be less influenced by creative and more focused on technology.

Championing is not about handing over power to a supplier but more about becoming enmeshed in the process and being passionate about the creative, in other words “excellence.” We all have to work with budgets and this isn’t a knock against budgets it’s a wakeup call to recognize the true value of any given project and the need to support its design and implementation in a way that helps change behaviour. It‘s incredible that we are working in a medium that can help change a companies fortune with one creatively inspired concept yet we seem unwilling to champion the idea of excellence.

It is important to recognize that it remains largely, senior management’s responsibility to empower championing within an organization and to show leadership in helping its management team better understand how a single creative idea can change the fortunes of a company, product or service.

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