Preparation vs Innovation

Preparation vs innovation does not have to be a rough conflict. Some prefer to approach projects cold and lead clients into new, unnavigated waters. Others prefer to research and mimic past voices. Each path has its own charms, but only in combining these trails do we find the best way forward.

Clients and businesses have spent a lot of time developing their brand stories. Consequently, our clients’ voices are tried and true, sometimes over decades and centuries. They are understandable beholden to those storied perspectives on their business. Waltzing into creative meetings like some sort of innovation conqueror doesn’t help anyone. Worse, it will only rile up the true believers in the room.

That being said, we can’t just sit in the room as the resident copy/paster. If they are calling on your freelance services, they are obviously in the market for a new direction. Just saying the same thing over again will not attract new clients, merely serve as nostalgia for the old ones.

Your job is to provide a new perspective on an old story. Your work is in stretching and pulling in new directions, rather than abandoning old voices altogether. Working with your clients, you need to find ways to honour the past while moving into the future. In our pursuit of getting the story, we must leave room for evolution.

Preparation vs innovation doesn’t have to be all out war. We need to allow our clients’ stories to be heard while shepherding them towards new stories and perspectives. They will be much more receptive to the latter if we honour the former.

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