This Old In-house: B Nosey

I was always taught to mind my own business and, as a designer/artist who likes to have total control of my world, I was happy to play with my paints and sit behind my monitor and not go poking around. After working as an in-house designer for over two decades, I’m now sure that this is a poor strategy for in-house success.

There are too many critical opportunities to be divined from walking the halls and poking my head into offices to submit to my desire for solitude and fear of overstepping my bounds. Most obviously, the biggest opportunity is finding new clients for the existing services our in-house team offers. A close second is discovering what services we’re currently not offering that we should consider providing.

Other payoffs of being a nosey bug, as my daughter once called it, are less obvious but equally helpful. It’s no secret that all the communication needed for a design project to be successfully executed doesn’t occur. The more I’m out and about the more chances there are for me to serendipitously happen upon crucial project info. This happens more than I would have ever thought and it has saved my team’s and my behinds with uncomfortable frequency.

The softest of all the busybody benefits for me has been the building of strong relationships with my peers in other departments and my clients. Like it or not, relationships are as important to success as producing good designs. So start minding your co-workers’ business and start mining opportunities to enhance your in-house team’s stature and relevance within your company.

2 thoughts on “This Old In-house: B Nosey

  1. Lonnius

    I’m very much in the same boat as far as wanting to just hang out in my world, but, because I’m often called upon to play the I.T. guy in our offices, I find myself discovering new opportunities to spread the virtues of design. Of course, sometimes I’d prefer not to know because our design staff consists of myself and one other person. It’s not always great being “the go-to guys.” Overall, however, it helps promote the idea that design is truly about solving problems (mostly with communication, response, and interaction.) Thanks for the article. It’s encouraged me to stay on the lookout for the sake of design (even at the expense of my sanity!)

  2. Roberto

    in addition to being the one man design department for my company, I’m also the staff photographer for our newsletter and other marketing materials. it’s this photography aspect of my job that has connected me to just about everyone in my company. that connection has been priceless. everyone knows what I do and what I can offer them. getting to know people through doing photo shoots also make me seem more approachable and co-workers are more likely to come to me when they need something.

    thanks for this article. I had never thought of my co-workers as clients, but it totally makes sense. this idea will be helpful to me as I interact with them. I do my best work for clients, and really there’s no difference. 😉