Annual reviews are a tried and true method for everyone in an organization to establish their goals and objectives, address weaknesses or full-on problems. And when an employee has a weakness, they don’t automatically get canned, but a plan is developed for working out the kinks and move forward.
Same thing with your portfolio.
So, here’s the Super Corporate Human Resources Department’s view of your portfolio:
The High Achievers
These employees are the stars of the show, the crème of the crop, the designs that should have certificates decorating every inch of their cubicle. The other designs either want to bask in their glow or talk about them in the ladies’ room. You didn’t necessarily know when you hired them that they would be the break-out employee of the month, but you keep reaching for that goal.
The Work Horses
Your behind-the-scenes heroes. The kinds of designs that you know will sell, are the tried and true subjects, categories, and style that your clients look to you to provide. They refresh every year and stand proudly in your portfolio. Sometimes they bring the donuts because they are just that nice.
The Problem Children
You know the ones. Maybe they show some promise but are languishing around the coffee maker talking about last night’s episode of The Bachelor. They have a lot of potential but try cashing that in at the supermarket. They may need a little nurturing and guidance to live up to that elusive starring role, but for now they either need to go on probation or step it up through a design update, new colorway or an updated technique.
But they interviewed so well! You had such hope for them! But there they are; back on the loading dock smoking cigarettes while the others are toiling away making you into the artist you’ve always dreamed of becoming. Time to cut them loose and start over again or they’ll continue to drag the whole company down.
So, when it’s time to review what you are offering to the world, sit each design down and have a little chat about their past behavior and their future potential. Maybe your weaker 2-dimensional employees need a little guidance and “thinking time” before they will start pulling their weight at your company. Put them on probation until you know what to do. And nobody gets any satisfaction from firing someone (unless you’re C. Montgomery Burns).
But sometimes that’s the best route to go for everyone’s morale. Including yours.