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How to trigger creativity

April 2, 2012

This post is for those who lead a creative pack, but I think it might interest also designers and e the rest of the world compelled to deal with creatives, such as accounts, partners, pr people, and so .

Motivation is the fuel of creativity. Motivation turns the gears of the creative machine

Treat your designers as species threatened with extinction, screen them and protect them from the cruel world, keep them away from news and never let them meet the clients and YOU HAVE JUST KILLED THEIR MOTIVATION! Say bye bye to creativity and team performance

Hyper-protection, lack of communication, abuse of criticism and lack of appreciation are the ingredients for a sure failure at managing a creative team.

Too often the creative directors forget an aspect that I actually believe to be fundamental: graphic designers, copywriters, art directors, illustrators, photographers and other kind of professionals in the communication industry consider their professions much more than just a way to make ends meet, and in these cases the most valuable money is satisfaction, personal satisfaction, first, and professional satisfaction, immediately after,

A creative director who ignores this implication is creative director who has not understood his or her profession, but worse hasn’t understood the creativity quintessence,
For this very reason, the creative directors must be great at balance criticisms, rejections, taps on the shoulders, and consolations. Wow! This is the profile of a guru!

The hardest part is when the director has an overflowing ego, and usually this is the case, since a creative directory with no personality is just a half director.

The skilled director knows when to mute the ego and take one step back – this is professional intelligence. The skilled director knows when to congratulate – publicly – and when to criticize – behind closed doors.

Many of view may object that nothing is more gratifying than money, but,when you deal with creative designers.

I am not saying that money don’t matter but if you are working on communication campaign for a football team, I am pretty sure that your creative team would appreciate a lot the chance to watch the games comfortably seated in the VIP stand – something money hardly could buy and a great way to say thank you.

So, dear directors, here some advices:

  • protect the rookies but don’t promise the an easy life
  • train them for the “firing line”, since day one
  • don’t keep away from the clients, get them used to live the relationship agency/client
  • make them used to handle projects from start to end
  • don’t put on them responsibilities they are prepare to handle, but don’t make them feel “carefree”
  • always stand up for them
  • criticize their works, not them
  • publicly congratulate on them for their success
  • make them feel how much you appreciate their daily work
  • be honest
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