4 February 2021 — Weeknote 3 — You’ve been publicly shamed

  • Turns out public shaming is a really effective way of encouraging people to write. Wish I’d known this before.
  • Been thinking about how much I used to rely on intuition when working on stuff rather than drafting big documents or fiddly graphics. Maybe it’s because I was a lot less experienced and amateurish than I am now, but sometimes at the moment I feel like I’m creating a world of complexity for myself. Ultimately you end up at the same place I’m sure and the trick is obviously distilling all this detail into something really clear and simple. But there are moments I’ve been looking at my work recently and thinking ‘What would Giles do?’ and the answer is invariably shake his head and look a bit disappointed.
  • That said I think I’m getting to the exciting bit of reduce, reduce, reduce. Also now I can properly show my process rather than just saying ‘I just thought it would be a good thing to do and I spoke to some other people and they agreed’ which is kind of how I approached stuff in the past.
  • Related note: been thinking about that old ad industry adage of only hiring stupid people or geniuses, because they’re the ones who see things clearly. Think I used to be a lot more stupid and effective than I am now.
  • I’ve now been at GDS long enough that I’ve seen several people leave and come back (‘boomeranging’ is the term apparently). I’ve never come across this before anywhere else I’ve worked, so it probably says a lot about the place.
  • Lou said something really nice in a workshop I was in, to the effect that when you’re working out how to approach a project you should always act as though you’re briefing someone else to do it — because you’re always a lot kinder and more considerate of other people’s time and abilities than your own.
  • Reading: I’m obsessed with reading Patrick O’Brian books, particularly when I’m feeling stressed or in need of something that won’t add additional challenges to my life. Apparently he’s a bit of a Twitter in-joke but I don’t really understand why.
  • Listening: Finally got round to listening to the re-released KLF stuff. My God! Perfect for early 2021, but when would it not be perfect for? Always had a soft spot for It’s Grim Up North, as it references Bramhall, the decidedly un-grim Northern town I grew up in.
  • Watching: Kiri & Lou (with a toddler). It’s so good!

Writing for @gdsteam. Formerly of @design_week

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