3 Tips For Managing Creatives

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Blog

3 Tips For Managing Creatives

Is there such a thing as being “too creative?” Perhaps there is when the imaginations and energy of creative types are allowed to run too wild and lead to missed deadlines, the inability to focus on the more mundane but necessary tasks of the job, or other types of poor work performance.

Managing creatives can be a bit tricky, but thankfully there are some steps that you can take to help creative types to stay focussed and on track so that they can get more accomplished.

Take an Individualised Approach

One of the most important things to keep in mind when working with creative types is that an individualised approach is best.  Just as no two people are exactly alike, you need to look at each of your creative associates on an individual level.

Learn which skills each of your creatives has their talents and strengths, and allow them to play to their strengths when pairing them with projects. Take their compatibility with other members into consideration when assigning them to teams so that each can benefit from the specialised skills that the others possess.

Allow Some Measure of Autonomy

Most creative individuals tend to be independent thinkers, and thrive best when they have some measure of self-direction and control. Encourage them to experiment so that you can benefit from their unique way of seeing the world and innovative problem solving skills.

Micromanaging usually does not work well with creative types, as it can literally put a damper on the very attributes that foster creativity. Because of these traits, it will literally pay you to seek their input first before you assign projects, goals and deadlines and allow them some measure of control when it comes to how they will perform the assigned tasks.

Be Flexible With Your Management Style

Do you see yourself as a director, giving your associates their marching orders? Or are you more of a coach that inspires their players to give their best to win the game? Creative types tend to be more motivated by internal factors, such as a sense of self-satisfaction, rather than being motivated by external factors such as a high salary or perks.

You will find that you can motivate your creative to stay on task and consistently give their best each day when you assume the role of coach and mentor.

  • Provide rough guidelines on how to get the work done and clear direction of what is expected.
  • Give frequent feedback and suggestions for improvement.
  • Offer praise when your creatives do a good job, and public recognition or rewards when they far surpass your expectations and the expectations of your clients.

Learning how to effectively manage creative types is literally a balancing act between extremes of allowing too much freedom and being too controlling and demanding. These three tips can help managers and other leaders learn how to best harness the power of having creative types on their team without compromising service to their clients.