Thursday, October 21, 2010


This is an acronym we use quite a lot in the office.

It isn't that hard to work out its meaning. I'll give you a clue. A rather well known sporting brand coined the term 'Just Do It'.

We simply added another word. Finish (ahem).

You get the drift.

Whilst I'd like to claim I always have a JFDI attitude, it's been my experience that whenever we really put our foot to the floor, on all cylinders - despite the pain, results follow.

Some of the most effective and successful campaigns I've been involved in have happened in the shortest time, with the least time for "planning".

12 weeks campaigns condensed into 7. Responding to emergencies in less than 24 hours. Turning a new idea into a live campaign in a month, when conventional wisdom says it should take 10 weeks.

One specific fundraising project I worked on trebled net income from the previous year, done in a month less than it would 'typically' take. Frankly, we didn't have that extra month.

Doing this usually means blood, sweat and often quite literally, tears. I was reminded of this in the last few days as we went live for one of the most exciting projects I've worked on. Exciting, yes. The cause of upheaval? Most definitely.

It's early days but I'm confident this particular campaign will be a 'stormer'.

Why is it that just getting it done so often really is the best way forward?

I think for two reasons:

1 There is no time to second guess yourself. You back your initial instincts and plough ahead

2 "Planning" time becomes doing time, and there is something to be said for working to a strict deadline. We're humans, we love deadlines (hence why they work so well in direct response).

I'm not suggesting every project you work on should be on a whim, involve staff meltdowns and escalating blood pressure, but in the right environment JFDI can be the way to go.



Ted Grigg said...

Having worked in a number of advertising agencies over the years, there must be a lot of truth to this statement.

We did our best work when put under the gun by clients. And almost all projects came in this way.

I think this is often due to the human need to focus intensely on a single objective at a time.

Multi tasking sounds great, but it rarely yields high quality work.

You can do a lot of things over a short period of time when fulfilling a project. But at least the project reflects a single, overriding objective. Time compression just seems to make good things happen.

Jonathon Grapsas said...

Thanks Ted, I think you're absolutely right in that it's linked to a need to focus intensely on a single objective.

Glad we've shared similar experiences.

Thanks for sharing.