You know what annoys me? Those jigsaw puzzles that have pieces that are all the same size and shape. You know…the ones that I never quite know if a piece is in the right place. Sure it interlocks with, and is generally similar in color or texture to the adjacent pieces, but then halfway through putting the thing together I realize it’s not even close to being in the right place.
You know what else annoys me? When I take an idea and add what I think are complimentary pieces to it…only to find that 75% of the way through, a bunch of those pieces don’t quite fit where they are; if they fit at all.
With a puzzle you’ve got the picture on the front of the box to tell you what the picture should look like. You’re able to remove the offending pieces, put them where they need to be, and continue.
When it comes to a marketing effort, campaign, or organizational change things are a bit more difficult. You don’t have that picture on the box to tell you how everything should look at the end. In many ways that’s a good thing. It leaves lots of room for creativity, but at some point you may find that a piece that once looked like it fit perfectly when viewed up close, doesn’t look quite right when you step back and take a look at the whole picture.
So when you find yourself in this position, looking down at a nearly finished creation and realizing that it doesn’t look quite right, what do you do? Do you try to find and remove or modify the parts that are skewing the rest of the picture, or do you take the whole thing apart and go back to square one; the basic purpose, focus, and reason for the project in the first place. Redefine your goal and refocus your attention on what you want as an end result and rebuild.
I think most times starting again from that first creative spark is easier, more productive, and leads to a better end result than struggling to locate and fix the piece that doesn't quite fit.