5 Tips to Get Your Boss to Improve Creative Agency Workflows
Have you been trying, again and again, to explain to your boss that it’s time to solve a particular problem? Tired of your boss not giving you the time of day to go over the plan you’ve put together that you know will save time, energy and money for the creative agency? Here are five tips that should help get your message across.
1. Don’t Bring Problems, Bring Solutions
Business leaders at any level have problems. The last thing that a leader wants is another problem brought to them with the expectation that it requires their immediate attention.
I was given this advice early in my career and yet admittedly still struggle with it. We always want to believe that our problems need immediate resolutions. The first step in achieving your desired outcome is to remember not to bring problems; bring solutions. We’ll address how to do that in the next few tips.
2. Do the Research
So you see some potential to improve a system and are now ready to storm the Bastille. With the excitement of a bearded hipster at a craft beer festival, you burst through your boss’s door in your superhero cape expecting a raise and a promotion for bringing the problem to her attention. You’re shocked when she hardly looks up from her desk before asking you to come back another time.
Step back, breathe and rather than slink back to your desk in defeat, see this as your opportunity to make an improvement in the business. You first need to answer a few simple questions.
- What is the problem?
- What is the business cost (financial, time, morale) of continuing with what we’re currently doing?
- What critical data do you have available that will show that this is a problem? How can it provide a measure of success if we undertake this process of improvement?
- What are the possible solutions?
- What are the next steps?
(Protip: Call it potential instead of a problem. This reframes your approach as a positive one, and it’s naturally easier to support positivity.)
3. Be Passionate and Positive
You’re about to sign your name to solving a problem that may take some time away from your daily job requirements at your creative agency.
You may need to put in extra work at night or on weekends. You’d better be prepared to be given the green light and spend the next year neck deep in solution implementation. If that’s what kind of time it takes to solve this problem, are you still willing?
The most important thing about passion is that it won’t allow you to give up if you’re told no, or not right now. Believe me, you’ll hear both.
4. Timing is Everything
‘I have been saying that for years’ is another thing you’re going to hear. It’s not always that you’re the first person in company history to have identified this particular missing system. No, more than likely your colleagues have at one point or another also proposed solutions and have been shot down. Timing isn’t a one-size-fits-all piece, it’s very much intuition, but here are at least a few things to consider:
- Are you performing well at the moment?
Bringing solutions to missing systems outside of your core function while you’ve just been given a performance improvement plan probably isn’t going to get your project approved.
- Has your boss been MIA from the creative agency the past four days?
Whether she is returning from vacation, has been locked in her office for the past few days, or whatever the reason, this is clearly not the time. I’d suggest utilizing your 1–1 session to bring up your opportunity (unless you’ve just been chastised for poor performance).
5. Don’t Give Up
If you really believe in something, you never give up. If you’re told no, ask why? This isn’t an objection to overcome immediately, but it’s the information you need to reframe the opportunity next time. It’s just like creative agency sales. Understand the objection and see if you can overcome it. Perhaps you need more data to prove the ROI, or maybe you got the timing wrong. Ask your boss the why?, and don’t take it personally. Reframe the opportunity and repeat.
Remember this isn’t an instruction manual, these are tips. Every situation is different, but the key to remember is to be a problem solver, not a problem finder.
Function Point Productivity Software is the leading all-in-one web-based business management software to specially designed for ad agencies, design studios and internal marketing departments looking to streamline their business. To see how FP can help your team, book a demo.
Director of Sales and Customer Success, Function Point
A passionate leader with a proven record of sales and customer experience success across several industries. I work with talented individuals to create teams that consistently achieve or exceed targets.