“We’ll Figure it Out”

My business partner Alex Raffi has a favorite saying: “We’ll figure it out.” He says this when we’re in the middle of a particularly sticky situation; some graphic design challenge or technical compatibility issue that isn’t in the manual. (Confession: We don’t even own a manual.) We’re on a tight deadline, the client is counting on us, and we find ourselves, once again, in uncharted territory.

Know what happens? We figure it out. Always. Sometimes it doesn’t look exactly the way we had envisioned it. (Usually it’s better.) But after all these years together, our team has confidence we can make things work. That’s because two (or five or eight) heads are better than one. One of my standard jokes is that, when we put our heads together, we have a whole brain. Like most jokes, it’s based on truth.

This, it seems to me, is the essence of creativity. We don’t care how we get to the solution, just as long as we do. Elementary school teachers would hate us because we can’t show our work. (But we can duplicate it.) It’s a messy process. Creativity always is. Sometimes, if we think they can “hang” (as my kids say), we’ll invite the client in to collaborate. But most clients only care about the final product, as well they should. It’s similar to when I drop my truck off at the mechanic’s. I don’t want to watch them take the engine apart or see dozens of pieces strewn all over the garage floor. (Besides, they charge extra to watch.) I just want to come in, pick it up, turn the key and hear the engine turn over smoothly.

That “can-do” attitude has permeated our entire organization. It’s become part of our cultural fabric. It reminds me of that old inspirational sign: “The difficult we do immediately. The impossible may take a little time.”

But not too much time. After all, we’re on deadline.

Brian Rouff is the managing partner of Imagine Marketing.
Contact Brian at brouff@imnv.com

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