Do you brief or direct?

As I see it there are two ways of overseeing a project.  You either brief the direction to the people under you or you direct the project.

Personally I’m a believer for direction (or vision, some people might prefer).  It is then up to whoever is delivering it to find the best way to get there.

The reason I prefer this is that it means I’m not blinkered by my own expectations, and it allows them to think for themselves, showcase their creativity and thought process and (in the process) increase their confidence, experience and understanding of how to create plans and strategies.

Now, I may not agree with what is developed, but that is the perfect opportunity for me to play devil’s advocate and ensure that the plan developed is the most robust possible.

If I wanted to direct how it should be done, I would leave no room for questioning even if it resulted in oversights.  And I understand that sometimes life dictates that projects be run this way.

However, IMHO, I think the former leads to better campaigns/strategies, better creative and also a more motivated workforce.

So next time you are briefing a colleague or an agency, think about how much freedom you are prepared to allow them?  You’re paying them for their ability to think as much as do, but by directing them,  you’re only allowing them to do.


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