Maybe sleep on it
It’s important to have critical friends in the workplace, those trusted individuals that you can float an idea to professionally and believe that they will give you honest and unsparing feedback about your ideas. Especially if you’re working on a very public idea, such as branding for your company, you’d want to have someone critique the designs privately, before unleashing them to the world, to give you time to adjust or start from scratch, if need be.
The unveiled logo
The San Diego Chargers, a NFL team that decided to leave their San Diego home after 56 years due to ongoing stadium disputes, have decided to move to Los Angeles in time for the 2017-2018 season. Announcing the move last week via a letter to fans on its website, the team shortly thereafter released their new logo via Twitter. They apparently did not have critical friends look at their new ideas for a logo before they released it, or, if they did, their friends did them no favors.
Here’s their new idea for a logo!
Reaction was swift and unmerciful, with not only the general public, but also professional sports teams weighing in on what was, at first glance, a derivative of two other logos already in existence.
The left column is the current—and longstanding— logo of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the lightning bolt in the middle column is the logo of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning. The final column is the result of what appears to be a quick amalgamation between the two for the Chargers.
Back to the drawing board
After being mocked incessantly, the Chargers PR team attempted to stave off the inevitable comparisons by changing their color scheme to the light blue and yellow that they’d employed over the years, only hours after they had released their first draft.
But even this less-than-bold stroke did not stop the waves of criticism and mocking that came their way, with other professional sports teams and colleges joining in the derision. Franchises as diverse as the Dallas Stars and the Sacramento Kings poked fun at the seeming lack of originality, with Dallas-based Southern Methodist University joining in, too.
The Chargers responded in an unusual fashion. Rather than taking to the Twitterverse to defend their choices, or just letting silence speak for itself, they took the bold step of releasing their third logo of the day in an apparent attempt to shut off the criticism.
Yes, that’s more inspiring, isn’t it? At least the joke has moved from how bad their attempts at logo design were to the fact that they responded to criticism by flinging anything they could off the drawing board in an attempt to stop the criticisms. Recap: One unpopular decision to move the franchise and three logo releases in the same day, one after the other in response to appropriate criticism in the face of uninspired design.
What have we learned, class?
The takeaway for us all is that we need to embrace the role of the internal critic in our decision making. Many times, corporate decisions are expected to be made and implemented without a healthy dose of internal discussion and reality checks.
By making certain that everyone has the authority to make suggestions that will be taken seriously, you’ve gone a long way towards strengthening and freeing the culture of your company. While mistakes and missteps will still happen—even the best companies can still have really bad ideas from time to time—the more an idea is fleshed out and sees the light with input from diverse voices, the less likelihood there is that they will.