November 10th, 2014
Do you hold yourself accountable to achieving results for your interpretive center, your visitors, your staff, your board, and your foundation? How do you assess how well you are doing in your role? Are you willing to look in the mirror and do the hard work of self-assessment? Do you criticize leadership elsewhere without looking at your own? If you blame, criticize, or play the victim, that might be a signal it is time to look at how you lead.
Through this blog, we have encouraged you to set goals and objectives. However, when we check back with clients years later, most have not assessed whether or not they achieved their objectives. The majority of our clients can speak to whether visitation is up or down, but the rest of the objectives seem to go by the wayside. Is it healthy leadership when there is no accountability to your exhibit objectives? Are you measuring whether you are achieving the mission of your organization? (more…)
November 5th, 2014
As a manager and person of authority within our organization, I often forget how things I say or how my facial expressions are interpreted by others. I am at all times thinking about several things at once. Often I find myself answering the question “Everything going all right?” as I am walking into the fabrication shop or design department. Most of the time everything is fine and I am just thinking about things that need addressed at some point in my day.
So why is this a problem worthy of writing a blog about? Well, my recent trip to Tennessee somewhat opened my eyes to just how effective one’s tone of voice and facial expressions can be. (more…)
Yes, Sketchbook 6, the latest addition in our sketchbook (brochure) series is here! Our sketchbooks have become somewhat of a collector’s item over the years. How many from the series have you collected? All five, maybe? Take a picture with your Sketchbook collection (has to be originals and not downloaded versions) and post it to our Facebook wall then I’ll send you Sketchbook 6 along with a coffee mug or t-shirt or something else equally cool! If you don’t have the back issues, you can download them or if you’d like a snazzy hardcopy of 4, 5, or 6, email me (kvanskike (at) taylorstudios (dot) com) your address and I’ll be happy to mail one to you (sorry all out of 1 and 2).
A Different Approach
Taylor Studios, Inc. has been on a fantastic Journey over the past 23 years and this Sketchbook shows some of our ‘greatest hits’ from the past four years (that’s how long its been since Sketchbook 5 was introduced!). While keeping with the Sketchbook theme, we changed things up a bit this time around. The most obvious change, aside from the sleeker dark color, is that it’s formatted in landscape rather than portrait. On the inside, you’ll find stories about TSI, many of our recent projects and a QR code which will explain some of the subtle references to…well, I’ll leave that for you to figure out.
Let me know what you think in the comments below and join the Journey online!
Recently, an old friend and several time past client stopped by Taylor Studios for a visit. He suggested I blog about what we need from a good client. I believe he was thinking of things like the photos and other resources a client provides during the course of the project. Another client told me he wished he had been gathering these types of resources years before he began working with us. If he had only known to gather photos, quotes, facts, and more ahead of time it would have saved him time and enhanced the project. I certainly have criteria for a good client, like paying on time. I walked around today and asked some of my staff what they want and need from a client. The overall theme was conscientiousness. Here are some details: (more…)
April 16th, 2014
Jason Cox's Many Titles (or lack thereof)
In a small company, or any place with a small number of staff, you often have to wear a lot of hats. When I look back at our start up days, I’m surprised at the many roles I played. I could have done accounting, cast an artifact replica, and designed exhibits all in one day. Those were the days when design was completed at the kitchen table, accounting and marketing in the spare bedroom, and a lot of production in the garage. One of the advantages of growing a company is each individual can eventually concentrate on their strengths. Unfortunately, this did take us a long time to learn. Even after having a larger staff, I would assign an artistic person to project management. The logic was, “well, they know our business and can explain it well to our clients.” They were never happy in these roles and what fun is that? Yet, my mantra was we all have to do what we have to do. Jason reminded me at one point I even got rid of everyone’s titles. I didn’t want to hear “that’s not my job.” Well, in reality, I still don’t want to hear that. To a degree we still have to jump in where needed. Yet, mostly we focus on what our individual strengths are. (more…)