Creative minds are notoriously difficult to manage, but an effective leadership style can give your organization the competitive edge it needs to stand out and grow. Setting expectations for your team is key.
But how do you find that balance between having strict rules and requirements while still allowing creativity? Don't worry this article will help you.
In this blog post, we’ll go over the most important factors to consider when managing a creative team.
What is a creative team?
A creative team is typically composed of creative, innovative individuals who are passionate about their work and contribute new ideas to the company. In the contemporary digital age, creative teams became an integral part of a company.
Creative teams are most commonly found in the marketing and advertising industry, but they can also be found working for agencies that design logos or websites.
They are responsible for the creation of ads, graphics, logos, and other merchandise. And they are different from other departments because they work closely with the company’s clients.
What does a creative team do?
The creative is responsible for thriving on new ideas and concepts. They are naturally curious about the world around us, bringing unique perspectives to their work that can help companies expand their brand awareness.
They develop campaigns for different products or services depending on what is required by a client. They are the ones tasked with communicating the company’s message through various channels.
Creative teams are also responsible for developing new products, services, or ideas that can help grow a business.
How to manage a Creative Team?
The most important thing to remember is that creative people have a different way of thinking and work differently from other employees. For managing a creative team you must be prepared with the following tips.
1. Inspire them to Explore their creativity
Creative people are naturally curious, so fuel their natural curiosity by encouraging them to explore new ideas. Sometimes they will have great suggestions that you never would have thought of.
You may inspire them by sharing books or articles that you have read, asking about their hobbies and interests. Allow them to explore their creativity by giving them time to work on different projects.
Creative people thrive on change and they are always looking for something new to work on.
2. Provide feedback and guidance when necessary
Feedback is an essential part of the creative process because it helps hone in on what works best for your business or product.
Be sure to provide feedback when it is necessary, but also give more time for the creative process by asking them to submit drafts of their work before finalizing anything.
The best way to get feedback from your team members is through a round-table discussion where everyone has an opportunity to air out all of their thoughts on different projects.
3. Encourage them to take risks and make mistakes
Creative people thrive on taking risks, so encourage your team members to experiment with new ideas.
Creative minds are always looking at things in a different way than others do, which is why they will often come up with unique solutions that you never thought of before. You have to learn how to manage creative people.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because that is the only way you learn new things.
4. Let them know what’s going on in the company
Creative people are often more involved with their work than they are with other parts of your business. They can easily get lost if they don’t have a clear understanding of how different departments are related.
It’s important to keep your creative team members up to date with what is happening in the company, so they don’t get overwhelmed by different tasks and projects that are being assigned at once.
Giving them plenty of room for creativity while keeping everyone informed about what needs to be done next will help you manage a creative team in the most effective way possible.
5. Create a Positive environment
Creative people need an inspiring and innovative vibe around them to thrive. It’s important that they feel comfortable telling you about new ideas with the hope of making improvements within the company or pitching fresh, unique concepts to clients.
This is why it’s important to create a positive environment for your creative team members, where they can work together and feel inspired by each other.
An environment can have a deep impact on a team’s work. Managing a creative team might seem difficult at first, but by providing them with clear instructions and creating an environment where they can succeed, you will be able to help your business grow in the best possible way.
6. Team Collaboration
Encourage collaboration with different teams within the company so that everyone works together on projects instead of competing against each other. This will be beneficial especially if there are lots of projects going on at once.
Find a leader within the company who is inspiring and has an innovative mindset, so that everyone can work together to create something new for your business or product.
The combination of different abilities, backgrounds, and roles usually work together to create something new.
7. Connect with them Regularly
Connect with your creative team members by finding out what they're interested in. This will help you learn more about them, which can lead to a better understanding of how they work and what motivates them the most.
You should always be open to listening to your team members' suggestions, especially when they are coming from people who have different experiences and knowledge.
Creative minds are usually more effective at problem-solving than other types of workers because they approach projects with a fresh perspective that can help you solve challenges in new ways.
8. Be Clear about the guidelines and expectations
Your creative team will need clear guidelines and expectations from you as a manager, especially if they are working on big projects.
The last thing you want is for them to be confused about what needs to get done because it can easily lead to mistakes that waste time and money.
Writing out the project requirements in advance will help your creative team focus on what’s important while working towards the final goal.
Make sure your expectations are clear, but also be open-minded enough to listen to their suggestions and ideas for improvement.
It's easy to fall into a routine where you do things just because that is how they have always been done in the past, but employing creative people in your team will help you find new and innovative solutions to the challenges that may not have been considered before.
9. Navigate their progress
It's important to keep up with your team’s progress while they work on different projects. This means you should be checking in regularly, but not too often so that it becomes intrusive or irritating for them.
Make sure their workload is organized and divided into manageable chunks of time instead of piling one task onto the other all at once, which can lead to burnout.
At the same time, you should also be ready to help them when they're stuck on a task and require guidance from an expert for it to move forward.
10. Keep them informed
Your creative team members need to know when they are doing a good job for their morale to stay high so make sure you give them enough positive feedback along with constructive criticism from time to time if needed.
You can also ask for their feedback on different projects so that they feel like a part of the team.
Managing creative people is all about creating positive conditions, where everyone can work together towards achieving one goal.
If you keep your team informed and motivated at all times, there won’t be any problems when it comes to accomplishing tasks in your business.
11. Be a Creative Leader
As a team leader, you will always be expected to show your creative side when needed so make sure you are prepared for anything that can happen in the work environment.
There’s no better way of becoming an inspiring and empowering leader than by demonstrating your creativity in everything you do, which is especially important when working with a creative team.
Lead the team from back to front, and from the inside out. Make sure everyone knows their role in helping you achieve business goals by setting up a schedule for when they should check in with each other or report on what’s been done since last time.
Your creative team members will work more effectively if there are clear-cut responsibilities assigned to them every day so that they can work on their own without being interrupted too often.
The most effective leaders are those who know how to empower others by creating the right conditions for them to excel at what they do best.
If you want your creative team members to perform out of this world, make sure that everyone knows exactly what has to be done and when it's due.
12. Establish Deadlines
Creative work usually takes longer than regular jobs so you must establish deadlines for each project.
If you are too lenient with your deadlines, your team members will not take the projects as seriously because they know there won't be any consequences if things don't get done on time.
Make sure all of their deliverables are clear so that they understand what needs to get done by the end of each project.
If there are times when a task is not completed on time, you should show your team members what the consequences will be so they won’t have any excuse as to why things got delayed.
You can then work together towards finding solutions that both allow enough time for them to complete their tasks and still meet deadlines. Create opportunities.
13. Don't Expect Too Much
Creativity is a gift and it shouldn’t be forced. If your team members feel like they are overworked and not given enough time to complete their tasks, there's a big chance they will become confused and overwhelmed which in turn can lead to mistakes in the work they produce.
It takes time for someone to become a creative thinker and if you want them to start thinking differently right away, they will most likely stop trying to think of new ways for tackling problems because it’s simply too much pressure.
Instead, you should encourage your team members by providing them with the tools which they need such as workshops and training that will allow them to be more innovative in what they do.
After all, it’s much better to take things slowly than expect too much which can lead to disappointment.
14. Trust Your Team
Creativity is about thinking outside of the box so before you criticize someone for their ideas, make sure that you give them the benefit of the doubt first.
There's no use in telling your team members that an idea they thought of won’t work because they will only end up resenting you for it.
Instead, tell them why their idea might not work and give them a chance to adjust it instead of putting the idea down from the start. If you want people to be free with their ideas, you have to be the first one to trust them.
15. Show Them You Trust Them
People want to know that they are being trusted so if you don’t give them any freedom at all, they might feel like there's not enough room for them to grow.
If your team members aren’t given any room to grow, they will feel like you don’t trust them. When this happens, they might feel like there's no point in trying or that what they are doing isn't good enough.
You should show your team members that you trust them by giving them opportunities to take on bigger projects so it will give their self-esteem a boost.
The more they know about their work, the more input they will have in what gets done, and the better the results will be for everyone involved.
16. Encourage Them To Take Risks
Taking risks is part of being creative so you should encourage your team members to take on projects that are beyond their comfort zone once in a while.
People are more likely to be creative when they are given new challenges because it helps them to see things differently. If they feel like what they are doing is the same thing over and over again, they will most likely stop trying as hard as they used to which defeats the purpose of having a creative team in the first place.
If you want your team members to be more creative and take on bigger projects, you should show them that they don’t have to stay in their comfort zones all the time by giving them opportunities to take risks.
17. Reward Them For Taking Risks
Taking risks is a good thing because it helps people gain new perspectives but not everyone can do it. If your team members end up taking on new challenges now and then, you should reward them for their efforts.
The whole point of risk-taking is to help people be more creative but for this effort to bear fruit, you have to appreciate them in some way.
Instead of making risks seem like a bad thing, you should encourage your team members to take on bigger projects by showing them that they are valued and appreciated for what they do.
18. Give Them Creative Control
Creating a sense of control is one way to make people feel like their work matters which in turn makes them want to do better. By giving your team members creative control over what they do, they will feel empowered.
People often feel good about themselves when they are given the chance to control their work which is why you should always give your team members some creative control over what gets done.
19. Make Them Feel Empowered By Sharing Information
Sharing information with your team is a great way for them to learn more about their jobs. If they feel like there's a lack of information, they might resort to guessing instead which can lead to mistakes.
To make your team members feel empowered and reduce any confusion, you should give them enough information about what comes next so they know exactly where the project is heading.
People want to be able to do their jobs properly so if you want to give them a sense of empowerment, you have to show them that you trust them with everything.
Sharing information is the key to this and when people feel like they know what’s going on, they will become more motivated than ever.
20. Set Expectations By Being Transparent
People often feel empowered when they can see what’s coming next which is why you should set their expectations right from the start.
It might be difficult at first because it will take some time for your team members to learn about their work but once they do, things will become much easier for everyone involved.
You have to give them enough information so they can work without having to make too many guesses along the way. It’s always better to be transparent about what's expected of them instead of making them guess because this will make your team members feel like there is no confusion or lack of information.
21. Give Them Long-Term Goals To Look Forward To
Having short-term goals is great but it’s even better if you can put together some long-term ones as well.
People are more likely to enjoy their jobs when they have something to look forward to which is why your creative team members need to have both short-term and long-term goals that they can strive towards.
22. Give Them Opportunities To Try New Things
People are always excited to learn new things which is why you need to give your creative team members opportunities to try out new things in their jobs.
Having a sense of enthusiasm is great because it means that people will have more energy when they are at work so if you want your team members to give their best, you have to show them that there are new things for them to do.
23. Create A Supportive Environment
Creating a supportive environment is important because it will allow your creative team members to work without worrying too much about what they should do next.
Team morale is always an issue so if you want to keep your team happy, you have to create a positive work environment.
People will always find ways to make things more difficult for themselves if they are overworked which is why it's sometimes better to let them take a break once in a while. If they can manage their time properly, there won’t be too many problems with being overworked.
Long-term planning is a great way to avoid problems with being overworked so you have to make sure that your team members know what they have to do so they can plan accordingly.
Make sure that there are systems in place so people can easily access information when they need it and always give enough time for them to get the job done.
24. Promote A Sense Of Community
It’s always better to work as a team instead of working alone which is why you have to promote a sense of community.
People are more likely to enjoy their jobs when they feel like there is a good rapport between them so if you want your creative staff to be happy, you have to make them feel like part of the community.
People often enjoy their jobs more when they have a chance to interact with each other so you have to make sure that your staff is friendly towards one another.
25. Give Them The Resources They Need
If people don’t have the resources they need, it will be difficult for them to do their jobs properly, which is why you have to give them the tools they need.
Their morale will be increased if they feel that there are enough resources for everyone to use so even though this will cost more money, it’s still better because problem employees are not worth the investment.
Once your team members have access to everything they need, they will become more motivated and work harder which is exactly what you want.
Make sure that your team members feel like there's a good rapport between them and that everyone is using their respective skills to achieve their goals.
You have to make yourself available when you're at work so people know that there's someone they can go to if they need any help.
People tend to feel a little more relaxed if you're approachable too, which is why people need to know that there's someone they can talk to when they need a hand.
A leader is a title that defines the role you play in your company, but it doesn't mean that you have to be at the top of every project.
Instead, empower everyone towards achieving one goal by delegating tasks among each creative team member so they can work autonomously without being interrupted too often.
Don’t forget to keep up with their progress by asking for their feedback on different projects and giving them enough positive reinforcement along with critical feedback when things don’t go as planned.
With this kind of leadership, your team members will always strive to do their best to please you while creating the perfect conditions towards becoming an inspiring creative leader yourself.
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