Some things I hear all the time:
“The presentation is tomorrow and planning is still finalizing the brief.”
“My ideas all got cut right before the presentation.”
“I haven’t seen my family all week.”
Some things I’ve heard before:
“We never got the client to agree on strategy so we’re currently on the 10th round of revisions.”
“We promised 3 different concepts, but there’s barely time for one. I’m the only art director left! Everyone else got taken off because we don’t bill enough.”
Something I’ve yet to hear:
“The account team did a great job setting realistic expectations, the client was really smart and agreeable, everyone got home on time, and we’re really proud of the work.”
Typically the people scoping the project aren’t the people who will ultimately do it and have little to no idea what it takes. The result is projects without enough time to complete effectively, deliverables that are promised out of the order in which they should be executed, clients who are trained to have unrealistic expectations, etc.
How many projects have you started before the brief was done? How many times has your agency ever held the client to the brief?
There was a time when the Creative Director was the god of the agency and everyone else around them was just the vessels through which they produce their work. It’s fine if you still want to work that way, but you will lose out on the creativity and perspective of over half your staff. That’s a lot of wasted creative energy. I see an agency where Creative Directors are more like teachers/mentors, creatives get a chance to present their ideas, and the beer flows like wine from sponsored beer taps.