Friday, April 15, 2011

Creating and Doing World Class Work Takes Planning

There are three things I always like to keep in mind whenever I am doing any project. These are things that I find I must force myself to do as they are not easy to achieve. Those things are:

1) If you are going to do it, do it world class. 

2) To do world class you need to plan. 

3) 80% of success i sin the planning.

Ken Nishikawa and I are now in the middle of editing a documentary video about the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster. We went up to Ishinomaki, the focus of our video, last Saturday April 9, 2011. I wrote about that trip and put up photos in my blog post entitled, Japan's Disaster True Ground Zero - Not Nuclear Power Plants:

Being at Ishinomkai and walking around and taking pictures and breathing the air was like a bad dream: Everything was covered in black sh*t and it smelled like a plugged toilet on a dirty, swampy fishing boat; it was like a nightmare.

Whatever you touched - or didn't touch - it didn't matter: the wrenched smell and rancid seawater mixed with the stench of death... It permeated your nostrils and it permeated your clothes.

I think I will have to shower and scrub heavily for a week or more to maybe have a chance to cleanse this putrid odor from my body pores.

It didn't matter what you touched or felt; you started feeling and smelling like the stinking spoiled, polluted ocean and the odor of death.

We shot a few hours of video footage and looked at it all yesterday and spent a few hours wondering just how it was that we were going to put this all together. Seeing Ishinomaki with your own eyes is much worse than TV. We need to capture the nightmarishness, the smell, the atmosphere of the place.

We need a good plan for that. We watched the footage. We threw around lots of different ways to approach the subject. Some of the idea were good, some of the ideas were terrible.

I think, after much discussion, we finally settled on a pretty good idea.

So far, the video is going brilliantly. I expect to have it up on Youtube within the next 15 ~ 16 hours. I will place a link on this blog for you to see it.

The reason why the video will be world class and "BBC quality" is that Ken & I sat down, before starting and discussed for several hours different ideas and ways to approach the problem. Then we came up with what we thought was a good starting point. We're glad we did.

The discussion and planning were a crucial part of the success of this video project... It is necessary for the success of any project.

Are you discussing and planning enough with your staff before you jump into the project or are you shooting from the hip? Remember, 80% of success is in the planning.

Teamwork requires team effort and team opinion.... Don't do like Dilbert's boss says, "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say." 

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