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.