Who is This Guy?
My name is Damian Sian and I own and operate Creative Agency Process Consulting LLC: Creative AP for short. I have served a number of roles in the creative world: from washing the ink of presses, to financial reporting. I also hold my Masters Degree in Graphic Communication Technology Management. Basically, I have made a career of being Creative Agency Spackle… I find gaps and I fill them.
The Old “Manifesto”
I believe good process is agnostic of media or medium. Ergo, a good Project Manager can lead a team of Web developers writing Java Script as easily as they can lead an integrated team of Strategic Marketing, Copy Writers, and Art Directors to a new Brand Identity. It is the systematic dissection of process using methodologies like Six Sigma, 5S Lean, and the Theory of Constraints that drives effective and efficient process. The whole of the Commercial Communications industry stands to learn so much from the world of manufacturing.
Dealing With Objections
I have often run into obstacles with this message. Some folks in the industry feel that the creative process is too free form and abstract to be constrained by stringent process. To those people I would say the fact we are selling creative negates their argument. We are, at our core, a service industry. And while that makes it difficult to apply the exact and literal translation of Six Sigma for example, it doesn’t mean we can’t find value in its methodologies. True, we are not making widgets, and we are not machines. But we do serve customers with a transfer of value. Or product is our creative, our effort, our service, and our expertise. We make commitments in the form of contractual obligations to provide those services. And, if you have worked with some of the big guys in the Fortune 500 or Fortune 50, you will know their procurement teams won’t accept the fun diagram on your Web site illustrating your “process” as a fulfillment of and RFP.
For those interested in learning more about my consulting services here is the gist. I have consulted with a number of Creative Agencies. With some, I have found nominal success. Meaning they paid me a lot of money and got better in a few areas. This is not work that I am seeking to engage in for the future.
With one firm, I had amazing success. Together, we found ways to create transformational change in their organization. We evaluated their process using D.M.A.I.C. methodologies, we performed VOC Surveys, GEMBA exercises, and we authored a process that fundamentally changed their business. Some of their people loved me; some of their people hated me. This process took nearly a year to complete and it will never truly be over. NOTE: I did not actually change any of their process. Instead, I acted as a catalyst for their change by accelerating their learning. This was achieved through the slow, methodical, and some times painful review of data, asking challenging questions, and inspiring their team to actually “think outside the box.” Ultimately, we found the most significant change when we started viewing the process through the eyes of the customer. Techniques like SIPOC and Value Stream Mapping helped, but it also involved a heuristic review of “what are they paying us for” and “what is it they actually need from us.”
As you may guess, this is the only type of work that I want to do in the future. Consulting is a side gig for me as I do have full time job at a large non-profit that pays the bills. For me to engage in a project, we really need to have a good fit. If you’re looking for someone to come out for 3 days onsite and train you in Workamajig, yes I can do that, and you will get a little bit better at it. But what is it your actually paying me for? What is you actually need? Your goal is to get better, hopefully much better. That is why you buy ERP programs, attend conferences, and try to eek out that extra level of efficiency: to increase your margin while better serving your clients.
If you’re of the mindset that the process of transforming your business to its fullest potential will take you the rest of your natural life, and that you may never actually get there, but the effort in trying is rewarding and fulfilling… We may be a good match to work on a project together. If you were looking for a fast fix to “get that Kaizen guy from that blog in here”, then no, we would not have a rewarding engagement. I would encourage to you enjoy the free articles in my blog and leave me some comments.
Purpose of the Blog
Google the topics I write about… Cross-reference that with Creative Agencies. What you will find is a gap. I am trying to fill that gap. This blog is meant to start a conversation and to inspire people. Our industry stands to benefit from bringing insight from other industries and finding ways to translate those insights into competencies. Again, I see a gap, but it is one that I think we can fill, together.