TCG Roadmap: Ahead of the Curve

Laying the Groundwork

As an in-house designer, you may be so focused on present-day changes that you have little time to consider tomorrow’s potential challenges. But it’s a smart strategy to always look ahead and try to anticipate what’s around the next curve.

Here are some first steps design leaders suggest:

Reach Out Don’t get trapped in the in-house world, says Carlos Caicedo of GAF. “Go out. See what the rest of the world is doing. Explore. As a creative manager or director, give your people the right to be wrong. Encourage innovation.”

Go the Extra Mile Work hard, says Meredith Fordham at JAXPORT. “In the restaurant industry, there’s a saying: ‘If there’s time to lean, there’s time to clean.’ If you’re slow, create a project for yourself.”

Strut Your Stuff Document how your team adds value to the company, advises ISO’s Ivan Boden. Enter design competitions and display awards publicly. Create a rotating “design wall” in the department that will become a conversation piece. Document your team’s successes and positive feedback they’ve gotten. Explains Boden: “Such efforts sell your services and make the perception solid that you’re the source of good design.”

Some additional ideas that may inspire you and your team to brainstorm ways to build momentum in your business:

• “We’re keeping the PR up about our products, and keeping the standard of design and innovation at a high level.”

• “We’re increasing the quality of our products when possible, and adding services to increase customer satisfaction.”

• “We’re becoming more diverse in what our capabilities are.”

• “Our creative leaders are concentrating on innovation – using more new media for our products.”

• “Our company is currently rebranding globally, so we’re revising the website to be more content-rich, incorporating social media and launching a customer showcase.”

• “Our department is taking online training during slack times.”

• “We’re focused on training and education so that we can stay ahead in the industry.”

• “Our creative leaders are working hard to think of new ways for our company to use our talents.”