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The code of exchange - it’s effect and it’s value

I’ve read quite a few posts recently about respect and working values, which has spurred me to write this post. Like many others I have experienced the lack of client communication hindering projects and resulting in a less beneficial outcome. I think what’s really important to recognise is 'the code of exchange’ it’s effect and it’s value.

As independent creative’s (and agencies) as soon as we are commissioned by a client to deliver on a project, each party has decided what exchange they are aiming for. My code of exchange (I hope is an honest and open one) that delivers along these three pillars:

1. Evaluate your pace

2. Protect your prosperity 

3. Be proud of your principles

1. Evaluating your pace: this tends to be prompted when communication starts to dwindle. Either the client requires everything at speed and you are rushed to deliver to a timeline you had no former knowledge of; or that the client goes completely off the radar for months despite ‘polite poking’ and then generally you end up in scenario one anyway (delivering at speed to a time line you had no former knowledge in). But by slowing your reactive dial (which tells you to just deliver at speed) brings you to: 

2. Protecting your prosperity: If you cannot deliver to the expectations presented then don’t feel obliged to. As Independent creative’s we have little insurances (‘I’ in ‘Independent) if we get it wrong. Let’s face it, by the time you have something tangible between yourself and a client (i.e a creative commission or contract) that you have worked hard to secure - you can’t afford to lose it by your lack of evaluating the pace. The client has bought into you to problem solve. But that doesn’t mean creating a bigger problem than they started with. Which then leads on to;

3. Being proud of your principles: If it’s impossible to deliver, don’t do it. Always explain your reasons why and offer alternative solutions. Communication is key in what we do. If this fails then it jeopardises the whole process and the one thing to suffer is most definitely (in my experience) the delivery. If you have to sacrifice design over delivery then go back to your value exchange and what you were aiming for. Compromising creatively is a hard pencil to re-sharpen. 

And further more, always do what your mother taught you. Always be polite. 

Helen HoldenComment