I have the pleasure of leading several teams at a time. I have to admit leading creatives is quite different from leading a 9-5 management team. Creatives are usually laid back, not uptight individuals who look at the world in a very unique way.Below here are steps I use to leading fun and successful teams of creatives. Have fun and do not be uptight. Creatives are usually fun and tend to open up once they are comfortable.
1-Have a agenda. Creatives can get very emotional and excited about projects/ ideas colors and brand. Having an agenda will help them to have a road map for their projects. If they know the boundaries for the project they will stay focused on the task at hand. However, do not discount any ideas that may be used for a future project! Something may not work for a current project but may be perfect for a future one.
2- Have a activity or game. From simple game to a team building activity. Why games? Your team of creatives may not know each other well. Fun, team building games will help build up trust.Creatives tend to enjoy a fun environment. Games help break the monotony and release creative juices. Below are a few games that have been fun for us to do ! Two Truths and a Lie– This is a fun way for a group of people to get to know each other! Figuring out which is the lie and which is the truth! Any game similar to Charades. One where communication is key for any team to work well together. Trust falls- This is a great way for teams to learn more about each other. Learning about each other’s boundaries and opportunities growth. Don’t try to force things. You want genuine engagement with your team.
3- Always feed the ego and praise in public. I’ve learned from that a piece of them is In every project. There is an emotional egotistical connection. I always look for ways to feed my teams ego. A current project, a post on their social media or a new creation they are working on. And I constantly praise them In public.
4- Do something for them. This could be as simple as bringing them their favorite snack or beverage. Supporting them in their projects outside of the work they do for you. By acknowledging that they do have dreams and goals outside of your company will go a long way to nurturing loyalty to business.
5- Always have final steps to follow with expected dates. This is important creatives can linger on things and leave it to the last minute. It’s almost a rush to them. Before you head out have clear set dates of expected projects. I struggled months learning how to and what to do. If you think you will lead and force creatives to stick to a “management ” style you are in for a surprise.
It will be fun but it will take some adjustments specially if you’re a result driven vision focused leader with a tight schedule. Below are ways I break up a one hour meeting.
Praises! Start by praising their posts, projects or actions.
Real business talk – clients updates.
Fun- release them for coffee and donuts.
Serious – next week focus Fun- fun team building activity. Dates on expected results.
These are suggestions that have worked for us at ATS. It is always a challenge to learn how people work and think. In the end it is worth it as the projects come together and the business grows!