Leading a creative team requires a different approach; creative people are a different breed and need different things. I run a creative marketing team who are full of excellent ideas, so I thought it would be helpful to break down how I try to get the best from them.
Firstly though, where does creativity come from?
In my simple mind, ideas come from some sort of inspiration. People often say that there are no new ideas and that new ideas are just elements of other ones brought together; well, I think that’s probably true, but that doesn’t mean the new version won’t work! So get thinking!
How do you get the best from a creative team?
Here are my 10 steps and although not definitive, they should get you thinking:
1. Hire creative people – it sounds obvious but not everyone is brimming with ideas, or want to be.
2. Embrace creativity – you must be open to creativity; some ideas need a different mind-set.
3. Encourage creativity – set up a creative environment, praise creativity and reward it.
4. Listen to creative ideas – there is always something to be found in every idea; listen and then think about the idea before making a decision.
5. Question and push creative people – ideas need work, not every idea is the finished product; question it, re-shape it and ask why?
6. Seek inspiration – what else has been done? Find similar ideas; take the good and leave the rest.
7. Talk about ideas – when you discuss or sketch out your ideas new ones come forward which are often bigger and even more brilliant than the first; others will trigger thoughts and perspectives you hadn’t thought of; in my opinion, the more brains the better, as long as you manage it.
8. Let ideas simmer – once you think you have the final idea, sit on it for a bit; pin it up somewhere and let your subconscious do the rest.
9. Keep ideas – even if you don’t use them, they may act as inspiration next time. We have a creative wall where we stick sketches, direct mail and images; it helps us think.
10. Be brave – it’s impossible to truly know how your idea will go down, but unless you try it you won’t know. As long as you have thought things through and followed any necessary procedures etc, give it ago; certainly in marketing, you take the good with the bad; just enjoy the good and learn from the bad.
I hope this has inspired you to stay open to creativity.