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Food company (packaging)

F

Interviewee

31 Designer

Team Advantages

Team Disadvantages

0, 1

Project Outcome

Control

Industry

Food

Location

Chicago

Team Risk Tolerance

Low

Team Dynamics

TeamDynamics_Indecisive

Company

Food company (packaging)


And we agreed , as a team, that we were going to prototype the four of us doing it together. Because we never work together as the four of us. And then, that really became evidence that wasn't going to work very quickly. So, we prototyped the four of us leading the project with a team of designers who are actually doing the work. Which, also, didn't work very well at all. Because he got people being pulled in four different directions even though we all come from the same play. The whole idea of me spending two days with him and then, someone dropping him for half an hour and contradicting the end decisions or actions. [2504],[2502],[2503]
And we brought the project in, purely because we needed the money. And we agreed , as a team, that we were going to prototype the four of us doing it together. Because we never work together as the four of us. And then, that really became evidence that wasn't going to work very quickly. So, we prototyped the four of us leading the project with a team of designers who are actually doing the work. Which, also, didn't work very well at all. Because he got people being pulled in four different directions even though we all come from the same play. The whole idea of me spending two days with him and then, someone dropping him for half an hour and contradicting the end decisions or actions. [2462],[2463]
But, it rapidly became me actually ... became clear to me after the first week of it going left or right, south and north, east and west. I actually needed to go ... there was a junior team as well. Move my desk and go and sit with him. And literally lived with him for ... it was only a six week long project. And it was an interesting one because we had to bring a designer from Boston to fill out the team totally unknown quantity. [2464]
And that was a tough project for me. And the reason it was a tough project for me was [inaudible 00:59:28]. Subject matter's easy. I've done so much packaging before, it felt very easy to me. [2505],[2465]
We have too many people who's nodding at IDEO sometimes. You know, one voice is heard. [2506]
And it was hard for two reasons. One was the experience gap. That maybe this kind of lays down to the whole reason the experience gap. People who are new to the company and me, who used to working with people who have gotten more experience [inaudible 01:00:00] projects. I struggled with that a lot, with regard to how do I ... these guys, I'm expecting them to step up more. They don't know when to step up, when not to step up. My working style. Working with a professional coach right now. Made me a lot more self aware of it. But, it's typically look for provocation, look for people to push me back and say, "No, I don't agree with you. You're wrong." We have too many people who's nodding at IDEO sometimes. You know, one voice is heard. And these guys were struggling to deal with that. And I'll put an opinion out there and they think that that's me saying that's gospel. And it's not. It's me saying, "What do you think? Shoot it down." [2469],[2467],[2466],[2468],[2470]
So, we struggle with that to come to some kind of working arrangement as a team. [2471]
The other thing that we struggle with is the fact that packaging design is actually ... everyone looks at it as something that's really simple. But, it's probably one of the most difficult disciplines I think that is out there in the realm of industrial design. Because you're trying to do so much with so little. [2472]
"Well, what do you want us to take forward? Because you want low risk. But low risk is you leveraging [Tetra Pak 01:02:01], milk cartons and just doing a great job with the graphics. [2507]
So, it's so constrained and the guys didn't have the experience to understand that, "Okay, there's, kind of, only six things you can do in this brief." There's three production processes we can use. Which means there's probably only three variants to that and when it comes together ... it got down to that. And during our ideation. That's how we ideated. Rather than blue sky, we knew that that client wanted to take this to market. So, we [inaudible 01:01:46] ideation by saying, "Here's all the production processes and here's all the things we can do. And saying, "What would a concept look like in that space?" And then, we fill up that thing and we present it to the client and say, "Well, what do you want us to take forward? Because you want low risk. But low risk is you leveraging [Tetra Pak 01:02:01], milk cartons and just doing a great job with the graphics. [2473]
"Can we do this?" And I'm like "Oh, god, of course we can't do that. Because it's going to cost three dollars for the work. [2508]
That was the problem. About nine. [2474]
Right. And they were all from different background. So, you had the marketing guy pushing you this way and the R&D ... marketing guy fell in love with one concept that we gave him because it was the perfect consumer experience. And it frightened the crap out of the R&D director. [2509]
Right. And they were all from different background. So, you had the marketing guy pushing you this way and the R&D ... marketing guy fell in love with one concept that we gave him because it was the perfect consumer experience. And it frightened the crap out of the R&D director. So, we had market research, marketing, brand, R&D, packaging technology. So we had at least six voices that all had to same level of authority. [2475]
No enough to trump one another. We're all the same level and f*cking piss me . literally it was like, we know, this guy likes that one, this guy likes that one. Until you guys rationalize what you're going to do, we're going to stick out of it. [2510],[2476],[2511],[2477]
"But all low risk solutions are boring. [2512]
And we would sit down, [inaudible 01:03:51] we were very honest with them about, you want to put something into market, therefore, we would advise these low risk solutions. And they said, "But all low risk solutions are boring. [2479],[2478]
So, the medium risk solutions and one high risk solution. And then it got to the end of the project where we've been saying that these are medium risk solutions. And they said, "These are all kind of risky." And I'm like, "Yeah. The f*cking right they are." Then they started five days to the end of the project saying, "Could you just ideate some more for us?" [2480],[2481]
So, the medium risk solutions and one high risk solution. And then it got to the end of the project where we've been saying that these are medium risk solutions. And they said, "These are ll kind of risky." And I'm like, "Yeah. The f*cking right they are." Then they started five days to the end of the project saying, "Could you just ideate some more for us?" PROJECT ID [2515],[2514],[2513]
Because we have these ideas. And, luckily, one of the designers from Boston, had some time. We managed to prove that the ideas that they wanted us to try and develop were a little off center and wouldn't really work. But gave them a secondary opportunity to deliver a lower cost, lower risk solution. [2482]
That's six people all shouting in different is usually problematic. [2517],[2516],[2483]
Because usually when we do these food and beverage projects, the clients come to us with an idea and they have no idea what the recipes are. And that screws us completely because if you don't know what the food is that's going to go in it, we can't design the package [inaudible 01:05:52] because the densities of food and all that other kind of crap. [2519],[2518]
I just wish they could have stuck with themselves. [2520]
The brief was actually relatively well written, I just wish they could have stuck with themselves. [2484]
Their interpretation of it. If you would reference it back to the actual brief, no. But their interpretation changed throughout the project. [2485]
It was appropriately quick because there's not a lot of thinking going on here. Like I said, you could ideate with a matrix. [2486]
It was a small budget. For the size of the task, it was fine. [2487]
Awful. My first client in six years that I actually had an argument with. [2522],[2521],[2488]
My first client in six years that I actually had an argument with. [2489]
The brand director. This is an Italian company. Most of the people who are working for them are in North America, but the brand director was Italian. And when we delivered our final presentation, which had all these story boards of how it would be used. How it's function emotionally delivering people's needs. He was just nitpicking. Like, unbelievably nitpicking. And I don't know if it was the language barrier, but he would use terminology like, "This presentation is useless to me, as it stands right now." When all he was referring to was the fact that we illustrated the wrong pasta shell. [2526],[2523],[2492],[2494],[2524],[2525],[2490],[2491],[2493]
This presentation is useless to me, as it stands right now." When all he was referring to was the fact that we illustrated the wrong pasta shell. [2527]
So, I actually ... he was being completely unreasonable. I just had an argument with him. We had said to him, at the end of our presentation, the end of the project presentation, "Okay, here's the list of three changes that we're going to make that you asked us to do." Yes. [2528],[2529]
So, I actually ... he was being completely unreasonable. I just had an argument with him. We had said to him, at the end of our presentation, the end of the project presentation, "Okay, here's the list of three changes that we're going to make that you asked us to do." Yes. "We're going to have a conference call on Monday," this was Friday, "to go through the changes. Detail them out." It was extra work for us to do that. It was only two or three days of extra work. [2496],[2498],[2495],[2497]
And we had the conference call with him on Monday. "This is all the list of changes." Yes. "We'll do them. It's fine." Just to get him off my back. Got them done and we went to deliver the presentation and then he had another round of changes. I'm like, "I'm not doing that. You going to pay me more money? Yeah, I'll do them." [2533],[2531],[2532],[2499]
You going to pay me more money? Yeah, I'll do them." [2530]
Yeah, because the changes were just unreasonable. Especially considering what they asked for at the end of the project was [inaudible 01:09:02] because of the input given up to that point. And we gave it to [inaudible 01:09:02] just to try and sweeten the relationship [inaudible 01:09:02] second and was trying to screw us. [2501],[2500]
Reference Tags
[2504] Alignment,[2502] Communication issues,[2503] Lack of resources,[2462] Forceful conflict about ideas,[2463] Indecisive leadership,[2464] Indecisive leadership,[2505] Irrational escalation,[2465] Lack of challenging work,[2506] Authority bias,[2469] Authority bias,[2467] Indecisive leadership,[2466] Inexperience,[2468] Insufficient Feedback,[2470] Lack of organizational encouragement,[2471] Indecisive leadership,[2472] Indecisive leadership,[2507] Risk compensation,[2473] Inexperience,[2508] Reactance,[2474] Indecisive leadership,[2509] Alignment,[2475] Indecisive leadership,[2510] Alignment,[2476] Avoiding conflict about ideas,[2511] Indecisive leadership,[2477] Vague goals,[2512] Risk compensation,[2479] Lack of real innovation mandate,[2478] Ostrich effect,[2480] Ostrich effect,[2481] Risk compensation,[2515] Alignment,[2514] Lack of real innovation mandate,[2513] Pro-innovation bias,[2482] Resilience,[2517] Communication issues,[2516] Forceful conflict about ideas,[2483] Indecisive leadership,[2519] Internal changes/challenges,[2518] Vague goals,[2520] Authority bias,[2484] Scope creep,[2485] Scope creep,[2486] Balanced workload pressure,[2487] Appropriate resources,[2522] Alignment,[2521] Irreconcilable differences,[2488] Unresolved relationship conflict,[2489] Insufficient Feedback,[2526] Alignment,[2523] Communication issues,[2492] Dismissive,[2494] Insufficient Feedback,[2524] Internal changes/challenges,[2525] Irreconcilable differences,[2490] Language barrier,[2491] Premature idea evaluation,[2493] Unresolved relationship conflict,[2527] Language barrier,[2528] Alignment,[2529] Irreconcilable differences,[2496] Dismissive,[2498] Insufficient Feedback,[2495] Unbalanced workload pressure,[2497] Unresolved relationship conflict,[2533] Cultural differences,[2531] Dismissive,[2532] Reactance,[2499] Yielding conflict about ideas,[2530] Irreconcilable differences,[2501] Forceful conflict about ideas,[2500] Insufficient Feedback

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MADISON BARNETT
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