Working with Creatives

Creative people are a different kind of people. We think about things differently. We really take pride in our work and have a tendency to get married to what we are making.

Working with creatives is just going to be different. A leadership position and working with creatives is going to require special behaviors.

What, exactly, you might be thinking, are creatives? This is a term used often in the world of marketing to describe the many different professionals hired to handle a range of tasks that can include everything from copywriting to commercial film making. (Winter-Hebert, 2014)

They are most definitely skilled workers who you are going to rely on to develop a vision or idea, and because you have no familiarity with what it takes to get their job done, you may be at risk for making statements or demands that can rock the boat. Paying for creative work is always a good idea, no matter what industry or position you’re in. Even if you’re in the creative field. Other eyes bring new life and adding a fresh perspective can be really good. Here is an article about paying for creative work.

While there are many “dos” and “don’ts” for working with creatives (i.e. don’t ever say, “This will take just a few minutes,” as you are simply guessing at what it takes to do their job), there are some very fundamental things to keep in mind:

  • These are people who choose their work because it is so dear to them, it has almost nothing to do with money.
  • This means you must take care of their hearts when you speak about their work and whatever changes or ideas you have.
  • Be sure you are giving them the craft-building opportunities they crave, and do so by being very clear with them, using their terminology, giving them examples or showing them what inspires your vision.
  • Give them clear schedules and deadlines.
  • Give them motivation.

This last one is the most important because these are the people who are often pouring their hearts and creative energies into their day-to-day work. Being an uninspiring employer is not likely to benefit anyone. And while you might have a negative response to that idea – after all you are paying them to be creative and that should be inspiration enough, right? – you will get the best outcomes when you think “teamwork”.

Just like you’re trying to master your job, so are creative people. Just make sure you find the right ones to work with.

Teamwork means giving your creatives what they need to develop materials that will help a company move to the next level. For example, your creatives are heavily involved in the storytelling that your company does. They might be part of the cinematography team doing a video for your firm, or they could be a group working on website design. In any instance, the more you give them to work with, the more clarity and encouragement you provide, the better the result.

Your creatives are full of dedication and want to give you beautiful design or content, and you must be sure that you step up and give them what they need to succeed.

Speaking only one design language

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