How Should You Go About Managing Creative People?

Ducks in a Row imageManaging people almost always comes with new and unique challenges every day.

Working with creative people, and managing them, can sometimes prove even tougher. Why? Well, because they’re usually wildly inventive, fiercely intelligent and passionate about their ideas. That translates into beautiful, yet at times difficult, work days for employees and managers at creative-driven businesses.

In thinking about how to best manage creative storytellers and artistic people in general, I first dove into the blogosphere. It’s a great place to discover other’s personal experiences. I found one post that hit on excellent points, but stayed simple. It’s a set of management values I’d like to follow myself.

Manual Saez lists these five values that his company uses to help manage creative types: humility, candor, optimism, ambition and responsibility. His blog post about managing creative individuals goes on to define why they’re important to his specific company.

Manual Saez lists these five values that his company uses to help manage creative types: humility, candor, optimism, ambition and responsibility. His blog post about managing creative individuals goes on to define why they’re important to his specific company.

However, I’d like to to add to that list and define why I think each added ingredient has value.

Collaboration: Creatives typically want to protect their creations, and feel deeply passionate about them. It’s understandable, but the great majority of professional creative work comes out of small or large teams of innovative people. So the ability to embrace teamwork is essential to success in any creative field.

Respect: A lack of respect can develop into a potent poison for any organization. Without respect, employees refuse to follow leaders or buy into any sort of change and the new ideas behind it. Respect must be embraced, even if ideas are not.

Win-Win Strategy: This addition is inspired by a classmate of mine, Paul Wagner. You can connect with him on Twitter and his blog. He gave a great guest lecture in class today about the evolution of cooperation. His said that an effective way to solve problems and increase cooperation was to adopt solutions that create benefits for both parties involved. So if you’re working with a client or co-worker and disagree, try to foster a solution that’s mutually beneficial.

These eight guideposts can fuel a successful creative team any time, anywhere and on any project. They are the principles I plan on championing as I go forward in my professional career. Thanks to Manuel for the starting point and inspiration.

What else would you add or how would your strategy be different?

Image by Kipcurry.

Note: This post is a short assignment for my class in Interactive Media Management and Economics about about personal management styles.

2 thoughts on “How Should You Go About Managing Creative People?

  1. hi david
    have a look at “managing creative people” by gordon torr – it’s a profound, indepth study of what creativity really means and how to manage this new “gold”. karine

Comments are closed.