TOO MANY COOKS IN THE KITCHEN

Too many cooks in the kitchen is a phrase we have all heard, but do we truly value it? As creatives, a singular vision is such an important concept to know and understand.

It all starts with your clients. Getting concise feedback can be difficult when a business has too many stakeholders on a particular project. No one can make the final decision on simple choices. When the project is complicated, the challenge can quickly become compounded. It will guide any good project if your client team can align on one vision or objective. Having clients understand the concept of singular vision can help streamline the feedback. It will also help the client and creative team to get aligned on the objectives much sooner in the process. Make sure you are aware of all client stakeholders early in the project.

Even more importantly, is when the project enters into creative development. If one person doesn’t have final ownership and vision on a project within the creative team, the end result could easily become a mismatch of compromised ideas. I’ve worked as a designer at several agencies where I was pulled in two completely different directions by two equal part creative directors or project visionaries. It can be a nightmare, and it can cause many inefficiencies in the process.

This isn’t to say collaboration and multiple points of view can’t be extremely productive to the process. In fact, collaboration is the most important part in my opinion. It’s where the magic happens. When many ideas come flying in, a good creative lead has to vet them with his or her singular vision for the project.

A great chef, needs to know how and when to protect the vision from too many cooks being in the kitchen. This is a big part of what ownership and our value “Own It” is all about. But remember, when protecting that vision, you can never let your ego get in the way. I can easily forget that I don’t know everything. A great creative lead needs to recognize when someone is offering an idea that’s truly improving the project and not let ego destroy what really matters… The final product. The food. The work. The client needs. The magic.

Whatever you are making, be sure that two people are clearly defined as the creative and client leads. It will allow them both to have ownership, assign accountability, and have a singular vision on the project together.

Illustration by: Rami Niemi

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