The further I get, the more I think Mike Rowe is right. The best way to do something extraordinary is to find a boss that doesn't care. Of my top 3 products, one of them I can't remember getting any feedback beyond, "I guess that's alright". Somehow it kept getting approved in spite of me not selling it or building coalitions to move it ahead.
On the other hand, I've had projects where I was prepared. I did build excitement. I did build a coalition across the company to support the project. Then the president canned it after a 12 minute presentation. When I think of that, I wonder how presidents think. The presidents reaction, in addition to some other stuff, lead a big portion of the team to leave the company! He ignored the research, analysis and passion of 80% of the development team without even a tepid vision of his own. I think there is an important lesson there for executives that want to engage their team!
Of the other two projects, one just kinda happened. It was a small team and we were already well aligned. The other project I'm proud of was a contract at an established company that just knew what it was doing.
Back to the cartoon though: I think the only change I would make is that I often see the concept sketch is like an M.C. Escher drawing. I realize, 'oh, we're gonna need part line there, some screws here, the LCD is going to have to be square instead of a triangle.' and I make those mental adjustments. The non-designers don't. All of a sudden we are getting pre-production samples that don't look anything like the concept sketches and everyone is confused and disappointed!