Once upon a time in a land not that far, far away people the world over could produce exciting and innovative work. They could push the boundaries of their imagination and create works of great joy and vision for all to behold. But then a dark, dark figure appeared on the horizon. His shadow cast far and wide and the world cowered in his wake. The Dark Lord of Accountability had arrived and proceeded to use his evil powers to grip the world in fear.
No longer would we need to think beyond the obvious, or be challenged by an idea. No more the sweet nectar of the untried, the surprising or the fantastical. Under the watchful eye of their dark master the tick box tickers would rule the world.
Management teams, focus groups and members of every department would have to agree on every aspect of every idea produced and should just one man, woman or child be less than convinced then the whole sorry idea shall be strangled and choked until every last drop of oxygen has drained from its body and left a quivering wreck of what might have been.
From that day forth we had to ensure that every backside was covered, every reputation left untarnished and every career left unthreatened. If there was the slightest chance of offence, then a safety net must be offered. Any possible chance that an imaginary sub set of society will not understand an idea unless it is spelt out in language so clear a two year old could get it then a back-up plan must be offered. And if, God forbid, there was any sign of the idea being even remotely memorable, engaging or effective then in the name of all that’s holy we should offer an alternative so safe it would make a Volvo look like a motorbike made of axes.