The responsibility to call out the bad

Sometimes I feel like a crank. If I notice a process or a design that was poorly done, I feel a responsibility to call it out. That approach was ingrained in me early in my design career by art directors and creative leaders who felt we owed that to clients. They said we should never be ‘yes men’ or deliver mediocre work, and even that doing so was tantamount to stealing money.

Many will say it’s okay, just let it go, find a better process or product from someone else. Do the work, get the money. I’m not sure what letting it go does for us all, but it’s never felt right. If we let bad advice go, or we let flawed methodology go, the world would have some serious problems. Oh wait, we have and it does.

Now what?

We have a responsibility to call out people, companies, and organizations who do wrong by humanity. Yes, there will be resistance, and yes, it can make us feel like a crank, but there’s a solution for that too. Just go to your balancing mechanism. Mine is riding a bike, turning a crank.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

Thank you! This is going to feel good.

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