In-house Issues: Rightbrainers – Know Your Rights

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A personal incident I experienced really drove home the importance of a warning I included in my most recent speaking engagement; that every in-house designer become aware of all corporate rules and policies. My wife and I were requesting that a service of our school district be provided to one of our daughters. Both the first and second bureaucrat we approached quickly dismissed our request saying there was a policy which forbid them from providing the service.

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Initially, like many busy parents, we were inclined to throw in the towel and assume the responsibility ourselves. But this was one “no” too many for us to accept. We quickly found, both on the state board of education website and from talking to friends and neighbors, that we actually had a very good case to push back. We’ve escalated our request to the district superintendent.

Corporate creatives often encounter resistant clients, managers and peers like the two civil servants I had to deal with who were neither civil nor in any mood to serve by making up bogus policies to shut me down. It’s to every designer’s advantage, as much as our profession eschews rules, to avoid the impulse to give up, and instead do a little detective work to test the veracity of the uncooperative colleague.

Better yet, innies should proactively educate themselves on the rules and policies of their companies to be better prepared for pushback, accusations, threats etc. Knowledge is power – especially when it comes to navigating corporate politics and bureaucracy.

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