Concept is to baby as execution is to bathwater
Li Ming Hsing's design for a crosswalk sign illustrates the gulf between concepts and execution.
The designer explores two important concepts. First is the idea of communicating states and their duration. Not very sexy, but critical. The second, capturing, or recycling, waiting time.
I enjoy the solutions the designers used to explore the two core concepts. But if you threw this design into the "sweatbox", I'd have no problem imagining the client killing design for being too whimsical for a crosswalk. However, the two core concepts are still really good. Making sure you anchor discussions on the goals and the concepts you are using to fulfill them will help ensure good concepts aren't thrown out just because the execution isn't approved.