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January 11, 2011 / jasonpinto

Putting Our Work on the Wall

The Wall

A few weeks ago, each employee at interlinkONE was handed a blank piece of paper (8.5 x 11). They were instructed to close their eyes, bring the paper behind their back with their hands, and try to make that paper look like a snow flake. Two minutes into the activity, everyone had to stop and reveal their work to all.

Honestly, I cannot even put into words how poor my attempt was in comparison to all of the others. It was horrible! My paper consisted of what could politely be called “random tears”; nearly everyone else had something resembling a snow flake.

An employee posted all of the snow flakes on the wall. Showing no mercy, my attempt was up there too. Yes, I was embarrassed. But until that exercise, I had never known how my craft skills compared to those of my fellow employees.

The Snow Flakes That You Are Paid to Create

When it comes to the work that we do for our company, how good do we really think we are? If we had to rate our skills as a writer, a boss, a team-player, a teacher, a trainer, a salesperson, etc., how would we score ourselves?

Confidence can be a beautiful thing. But so can the truth. Finding out that someone is better at something than us may cause embarrassment. It may sting.

But don’t get stuck in your own bubble. Go ahead and print out the main pages of your website, as well as those of your competitors. Put them on a wall, on a table, on a whiteboard, whatever… but take a look and make an honest comparison. You can use this exercise with nearly everything — your collateral, your business cards, your direct mail pieces, email templates, and more.

The wall may not be gentle to us. But it may be give us the push we need to make necessary improvements.

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