Sending the Right Signals
Baseball is commonly referred to as a metaphor for life. In this case, it's a metaphor for better business practices.
When St. Louis Cardinals bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist picked up the phone in the bottom of the eighth inning during Game 5 of the 2011 World Series, he couldn’t quite make out what Manager Tony La Russa was saying on the other end. The score was tied at two runs apiece, and La Russa asked for left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and his closer Jason Motte to start warming up their arms. Lilliquist only heard Rzepczynski.
When La Russa did not see Motte warming up from across Rangers Ballpark, he phoned again. For a second time Lilliquist misheard and had right-hander Lance Lynn begin his warm-up routine, not Motte. La Russa summoned Rzepczynski, who promptly gave up a ground ball base hit to load the bases. Motte was still not warm. La Russa was forced to leave Rzepczynski in the game to pitch against the right-handed hitter Mike Napoli, a poor match-up favoring the Ranger hitter. Napoli made them pay with a two-run double off the wall in right-center, giving the Rangers a 4-2 lead. The Cardinals lost that game.
La Russa’s Verizon-commercial moment serves as a useful lesson: Communication can mean the difference between success and failure. Textbroker is a unique business in that our authors, employees and clients reside all over the world. An author in Georgia submits an order polished by an editor in Nevada for a client in Singapore. The only way for us all to succeed and earn a living is through effective, efficient communication from all involved.
The primary mode of communication used throughout the company is the TB messaging system, which includes team and client to author messages as well as revision requests. Depending on how many managed teams an author belongs to and how many clients an author works directly with, the volume of messages, notifications and emails can become overwhelming.
Creating folders in your email inbox for revisions, invites, specific teams and the like can help to organize the chaos. Save a document with commonly sent messages in order to quickly copy and paste a reply to a client. Maintain a good ol’ fashioned desk calendar to keep deadlines straight. Getting creative can lead to more time-saving solutions, but simply staying on top of all the emails is the only sure fire way to avoid frustration. Make a habit of it.
Clients and managed teams are more willing to work with authors who can communicate quickly and concisely. Clients take notice of an author who completes a revision request in a timely fashion. Newly formed managed teams looking for authors to invite will take notice.
The other side of this coin is no different. Clients, editors and we in Author Services are continually striving to streamline communications. We don’t want to send out a dozen team messages in a week, but it is sometimes necessary. As always, you can come to us with any and all questions or concerns by sending an email to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The forums are a great place to learn from other authors who may have experienced a similar issue.
La Russa had no other choice but to use outdated technology in a less than ideal atmosphere, but you don’t have to. We encourage you to explore and test out the various avenues of communication we have in place. Through a company-wide effort, we can improve and streamline communications, meaning greater profits for all.