“I’ve got some last minute changes.” – FILO Blog

“I’ve got some last minute changes.”

I heard this a lot this past week. I was working on an event that for some reason had a ton of last-minute graphics changes. When the people came to the team with this phrase, we pretty much always said, “Sure, no problem.” After a few days of this, the person doing graphics was pretty wiped out. 

On one hand, we had someone who cared enough about the presentation to be the best it could be, that they said yes to every change. The results were an excellent program with the graphics being exactly what the presenter had in mind. With the end goal of communicating a message most effectively.

The results were also someone who was frazzled by the end of the program and right on the edge of making mistakes. The graphics person was definitely ready for a very long break after the program was done. 

The question for me is, should we have been saying “No” to last minute changes to protect the graphics person, or was saying yes to all the changes the right idea?

On one hand, as a leader on the team, it is my job to keep the scope of work to something manageable for the team. On the other hand, the purpose of the team is to help support the message, and if we can make it better then why wouldn’t we?

There is also something to be said for the graphics person making the changes to stick up for themselves and to be able to say “No” if that is what’s best for the overall program. 

The reality is that this gray area is where we live as production people. There is no standard answer for all the situations. Sometimes making the last minute change is the right call. Sometimes locking things down early is the right answer. 

Down at the foundation of this question is trust.

Trust between you and the people you’re supporting and their trust in you. Trust between you and the graphics person and the graphics person you, and with the presenter. 

  • Without trust, it is almost impossible to say “No” to a last minute request.

 

  • Without trust, it is difficult to understand why a last minute request isn’t possible.

 

  • Without trust, it is difficult to understand why a certain last minute request is even necessary.

 

Trust comes from time working together. Trust comes from living through all the outcomes, good and bad. Trust comes from enough shared experiences to know the best ways to respond in certain situations. Trust also comes from speaking the truth in love to each other, in a culture without fear but understanding. 

How can we be about creating that culture instead of waiting for someone else to create it?

Picture of Todd Elliott

Todd Elliott

Todd is a writer, speaker, technical artist in the local church and founder of FILO.

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