INside Track: The Poison Ivy Paradigm

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So I didn’t listen to my wife. She warned me as I was stepping into our overgrown flowerbed to yank out offensive weeds, that there might be poison ivy in the green mess that the garden had become. “My bad” I realized the next day as itchy oozing welts began to appear on my arms, neck, torso, and legs.

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It will take a good month for my body to heal from my stupid act of macho arrogance that only took minutes to execute. Bad things happen in an instant and the recovery can take exponentially longer. This is a fact worth keeping in mind when managing an in-house creative team. Where should our time and focus be spent? On big picture forward-thinking initiatives? Sure. But a bit of proactive protective strategies and tactics are worth pursuing as well because one problem could end up becoming a big break/fix.

It will be to your immense advantage to create SOPs, archiving and naming conventions, proofing procedures and standardized file prep requirements now rather than waiting for that critical costly typo that costs your company thousands of dollars in reprint fees. Think ahead and forge relationships with key company stakeholders making them your allies who will back you up during those difficult audits that surely await you. Stop bandaiding an antiquated digital infrastructure and get the funds for responsible upgrades before your network blows up and you loose thousands of design and production man-hours.

It’s so easy to put off those safeguarding protective projects but it is oh so hard to fix the mess that results from failing to implement them. As living proof of the consequences of poor preparation how I wish I had put on the gloves and longsleeve shirt my wife urged me to wear before jumping into the big blooming unknown. I’ll be scratching my head and all my other appendages over that one for weeks to come.

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