Too Many Cooks: How to overcome content interference so you can do your job, by Jared Thomas Meyer
Content interference can result in websites that don’t reflect goals, movie posters that don’t reflect the movie, and logos that are terrible.
You end up with: https://xkcd.com/773/
What is content interference?
The unsolicited, unwanted, and often uninformed opinion of an interloper that delays or alters carefully crafted content.
We ask for feedback in our process. Content interference isn’t feedback.
Why do people interfere?
- Visibility is power
- Competing interests
- Content strategy is a mystery
- Expertise is really difficult to prove (and easy to fake)
Content interference is high risk
People want to make meaningful contributions. Their input feels personal, and the content is important to them
How do you decrease interference?
- Strategic approach
- Change your culture
- Change the way you work
- Tactical approach
- Be specific
Listen to more than just words
Start with their problems. Start every project with interviews.
Include everyone that you can
Make it a safe space, and create mutual meaning. We need trust in order to succeed. Success requires people to hold one another accountable.
Depersonalize and align on mutual purpose
Point to governance documents, lean on data and best practices so that no one feels this is personal. But don’t dehumanize.
Evangelize to make content converts
Share information from this conference! Do lunch and learns! Create or join a committee.
Be specific about what you want
The more specific you are, the less you steamroll. Focus on motivations over actions.
Essential elements for success
- A culture of empowerment and integrity
- A boss that supports you
Your work matters.