Keeping up with, well...everybody
During the past year or so, Amanda and I have had several conversations about the pace at which we work. We operate in a deadline-driven business; that will never change. But what has changed are our clients’ expectations. The newsletter that was once scheduled on a two-week production cycle is now due to the printer in a week or less. The copy for a good-sized report arrives to us a week late (or two), but still needs to be in the hands of policymakers before a critical vote. We pride ourselves on being able to produce good work, in little time and on tight schedules, but it seems that this crunch has become the norm. This is in no way an indictment of our clients. These changes feel more like a social shift. We are all expected to work more and faster in order to fulfill the responsibilties of our jobs. Duh! Like this is news to anyone.
As for me, I run a small business that depends on meeting crazy demands. And I find a certain freedom in knowing that I can finish projects in the wee hours that I couldn’t get to in the daylight. It is the price I pay for the many benefits of having a small, home-based business. But what’s your excuse? Most of you work in small- to mid-sized nonprofits. Why the heck are you highly skilled, underpaid people answering my emails at midnight, 1 am, or even 2 am? Turn off your computers. Go to bed.
As I sit here writing on this day of rest — the day after Thanksgiving — I invite us all to stop for a moment to consider what is in our power to change. Of course, you are probably reading this at work and just see this as an annoyance that will result in your getting out of work five minutes later. To you I say, “Sorry. And take a deep breath.”
Speaking of time
When I began this newsletter and wrote the number “50” in the upper right corner, I took a certain pride in my accomplishment. Frankly, it seems impossible that nearly five years have passed since I starting writing this (almost) monthly newsletter. I enjoy writing to you and many of you have voiced your continued interest in reading my offerings. It makes me feel more connected to you. But more than that, I like to think that it connects you all to each other in a small way. Getting a glimpse into some of the other projects we help produce, I hope, helps make you feel like a member of a larger community of “communicators.” If you are taking the time to read this, you are probably a member of this loose tribe.
When you have a moment, if you are interested, it might be fun to poke around through a few of the previous 49 issues. You’ll see you are in good company. Just click here to view back issues.
The real costs of production
The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production promotes the “crazy” idea that we should consider ALL the costs of production when contemplating a product’s viability. It is rare for a company (or government) to consider a multitude of hidden costs — costs that we as consumers end up paying in the forms of taxes, personal health, the health of future generations, and our planet’s long-term ability to support life.
The Sustainable Products Project helps make real the possiblity of taking these hidden costs into consideration as a prerequisite for doing business. The “Framework” report helps individuals, business leaders, and policymakers make better choices to that end. From the report:
”The Sustainable Products Project of the Lowell Center promotes the sustainable design and development of safer, healthier, and greener products through engaging stakeholders, conducting research and providing information that can spark innovative, environmentally sound solutions. The Lowell Center Framework for Sustainable Products is a tool to help evaluate the environmental, social, and economic impacts of existing products and to design new products that minimize these impacts. This analysis includes the people who make the product and those who handle it at its end of life, as well as the communities and ecosystems that are affected by the product through its production, consumption, and disposal. By defining the key elements of a sustainable product, the Framework helps companies develop a broader vision of what a sustainable product encompasses, identify opportunities for improvement, and assess progress in meeting that vision.”
To view the report, visit the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production website at www.sustainableproduction.org.
Those of you with a keen eye will have noticed that I added a new button to the navigation of my website — “Recent Projects.” Regular readers of the DG Communicator will see some of the same projects that have been featured here. But I also hope to spotlight a variety of clients and projects that don’t usually make it into the newsletter. Click on the link to view the current Recent Projects page.
I have also added several new websites on the Web Design page. These include: Friends of the American Board Schools in Turkey, Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation, Environmental Health Fund, Communities for Restorative Justice, and Designlights Consortium. Click on the link to view the Web Design page.
The Testimonials page has also been updated to include some of you for whom I have been doing a bigger volume of work as of late. Click on the link to view the updated Testimonials page.