The Expert

“Just because you have a budget doesn’t mean you ought to be hiring people for the project.” – Seth Godin

Funny, and sad, as hell. Welcome to life in BigCorp. Seth makes the point that everyone was just doing their job. For me, there were just too many people. Yet this is one of the biggest challenges of large organizations. Once you have lots of people, lots of people get involved with everything. I’ve been in the role of the “expert” more times than I can count and have developed the patience of a patron saint as result. Unquestionably, however, the damage is done. At a minimum, lost time and the energy spent to move others forward. Other damage is present, but harder to quantify.

The thing of it is that some things are only possible in large groups. They are of such scale that a group of people around a table, even if it’s exactly the right people, couldn’t accomplish it. Think Space Shuttle or skyscraper.

That’s the Hobbesian choice that cannot be avoided: Do you do the larger or smaller thing? Do the larger, and you must accept being a cog in the machine – a defined role in the group. Do the smaller, and you must accept that the result is, well… smaller.

That’ the choice for a creative anyway. For a doer. For the builder. For the font.