Design By Committee.

A good friend pointed this sign out to me the other day and I had to laugh.

Looks like your typical, run of the mill parking sign designed to protect precious slots for diners at Andy’s Deli, a popular spot on the NW side.

Perfectly normal, and yet…

35 minute parking?

I’ve seen 10, 15, 30, 45… but 35?

I get the feeling there is a committee at work here.

And that they thought very hard about this sign.

Parking is a critical retail element that can make or break a business, so I’m glad they thought about it.

Creativity is messy when it comes to collaborative projects. There are committees, layers of approval, regulations, stakeholders. Run well with inspiration collaboration can take us beyond ourselves, creating something no single individual could have come up with alone. Run poorly and, well, you’ve probably already run into that so no need to go into it here. Leading even the simplest of ideas through an organization can be a challenge for even the most talented program manager.

Now, I have nothing against 35 minute parking. It might be a brilliant marketing move.

“A half hour lunch without the rush.”

I’m not in a position to judge.  Wish I could have been in the meeting though.

What do you do to ensure ideas thrive instead of die in committee?

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8 Responses to Design By Committee.

  1. Brad Shorr says:

    Fred, Perhaps Chicago has some strange parking/towing regulations that account for the bizarre time restriction. Not that a municipal government office could fall prey to management by committee …
    .-= Brad Shorr´s last blog ..The World’s Worst Job Interview Response =-.

  2. Paul C says:

    The specific time period reminds me of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. He suggests a meeting start time at 7:31 or whatever to encourage punctuality. Patrons or committee members should certainly remember unique time periods if they are important.
    .-= Paul C´s last blog ..Animal Smarts =-.

  3. If not, then they are probably at least trying to figure out how to add a traffic camera to the equation…

  4. That very well could be. Truth is the sign caught my friend’s eye as he drove by exactly for that reason.

  5. J.D. Meier says:

    Design by committee can be such a slow and horrible death. Nobody’s happy, so nobody wins.

    I think having the right “tests for success” go a long way to help sanity check throughout the process. Another key practices is “dog fooding” the result. On my teams, I have them do “show and tells.” If they can’t stand behind it or show it off, it’s broken. The test is we feel good about the result.

    Creativity over compromise tends to be the secret sauce.

  6. “Creativity over compromise” is a nice way to put it. And I love the term ‘Dog fooding,’ (had to run over to your blog to figure out what that is – for other readers its making sure you’re using your own products in your business ‘eating your own dog food’ – )

  7. Davina says:

    Hi Fred. I enjoy seeing something different like this; thinking outside the box. I’m jokingly saying they “should” have made it 36-minute parking. People might need that extra minute to study the sign and ponder about the 35-minute time limit.
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..Roaming with the Metaphor =-.

  8. Hi Davina,

    We’ll have to add that to the agenda for the next meeting 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by and adding your thoughts to the conversation!

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