How to Hire and Manage Creatives
Manifesting creativity is an art. Building a business aligned to a life abundant with passion is one and the same. Step back from the recursive flow of ideas, behaviors and collaboration. I invite you into the inner circle. Choose to attain business savvy and entrepreneurial enlightenment by choosing to effectively hire and manage creatives. The truth: A strategic business plan in not successful in today’s innovative world without it.
Linear versus nonlinear, creative versus traditional, associative versus non-discursive thinking…Is there a difference? Or, is it a myth? Simply put, I would say that there is value in the examination of your path as a leader. From me (Allison) to you, this is the blueprint to acquiring a team of self-made creatives empowered by you as a business owner and creative entrepreneur. We start here to blastoff to your next business breakthrough.
Let’s be honest. I expect you to be asking questions. (Hint: You wouldn’t be my kind of entrepreneur if you didn’t.) How does manifesting creativity mirror building my business? How can I be a magnet for creatives when I struggle with kindling my own creativity? How does linear thinking intersect with creative thinking? Let’s start with a metaphor to make the connection.
“The path to business SUCCESS, and enlightenment…is NOT always straight or LINEAR.
In fact, it is a FLEXIBLE yet METHODICAL series of decision making PROCESSES.”
Successfully hiring and managing creative is by design. If you are familiar with the image or concept of the Mandala (or even if you are not), it is a circular design that reflects wholeness. The practice of creating a mandala is meditative, unifying and clarifying creative thought. The mandala is a design that represents alignment, connecting the dots between identity, mind, body, environment and action.
In other words, the path to business success, and enlightenment, is like a mandala design – it is not always straight and linear. In fact, it is a flexible yet methodical series of decision making processes. Haven’t you heard that there is no light without darkness? Well, in business there is no actions without ideas, and vice versa, therefore there is no entrepreneurship without connecting creativity with linear progression. So, may the force be with you in finding your balance. In my creative space, it starts here when blasting off to business success in 2016!
3 Myths about Creativity
Don’t limit yourself to age-old conceptions of what who creatives are, what they look like or what they produce. The definitions are flexible and the boundaries are permeable. If you want to hire and manage creatives, you have to know what the brick and mortar of creativity is.
Here are three myths about creativity to debunk and learn from now:
- Creative means Original.
An idea, a concept always stems from a source whether directly or indirectly. Creativity does not equate to a novel thought or original way of thinking. Creativity has been named and renamed, from flexible thinking to metaphorical thinking to divergent thinking, and why? Creativity is hard to define. And, yet we all know what creativity is when it stands before us, already manifested. The creative process may feel intangible, but it is actually very tangible. Let me make it concrete for you.
Creatives learn to think and do. To hire and manage creatives means first identifying individuals who think and are capable of acting upon it, or individuals who act upon the ideas that they tend to not give themselves credit for. You must be a leader who knows and cultivates the connection between the two. Success comes from producing ideas and producing results.
- Ideas correlate to Creativity.
An idea conceived alone is not creativity and does not translate to being deemed a creative. Step 1: Produce an idea and perceive that idea’s value; Step 2: Evaluate if the idea works and holds weight; Step 3: Determine the idea’s usefulness and on what scale.
If a story begins with a profound statement, but never transforms into its intended novel, illustrating its truth – what point does it serve? What value does it hold? None. It is like a joke without a punch line. Without fruition, the story ends and begins at creativity left unrealized. In order to hire and manage creative, an entrepreneur has to know the difference.
- Creativity comes from Within.
Creativity is not removed from the body or trapped within the mind. Do not be fooled. If you embark on the journey of leading a team of creatives, hiring and managing starts with connecting the dots from mind to body to environment. No one is creative or successful in the creative process without suitable resources.
Do not be the tired business owner that demands their team to ‘be creative.’ Instead be the forward-thinking entrepreneur that inspires a team of self-made creative to be thinkers and doers, mindful in their problem solving and actions. Cultivate habitual creatives with optimal team dynamics and communications, more collaboration than competition, optimal leader enthusiasm and optimal amounts of responsibility.
4 Keys to Hiring and Managing Creatives
We are all creatives at heart. Wherever you fall on the scale, linear and nonlinear thinking is required in our world of innovation. However, the creative team members with the most potential require care and understanding to cultivate on a team. It’s time to illuminate the 4 keys to hire and manage creatives with exponential success. With over three decades of experience, and ten successful businesses on my track record, I want to share my blueprint with you.
- Teamwork is Priority #1. The ego has its place. Creative team members require personalized praise – acknowledgement for their contribution. Research shows that meaningful tasks are a right-fit for habitually creative individuals. They crave satisfaction from projects that ask for the kind of innovation that results from personally applying their inspiration and skill. In hiring and managing creatives, I wholeheartedly believe you need to recognize and adapt to this all-or-nothing approach.
As many of the entrepreneurs that I work with find out, when it comes to creatives, communicating critique poses a challenge. I have had to realize this within my own business. Prioritizing teamwork as number one within the collaborative work environment creates an open forum and group context to voice weaknesses and create solutions. It’s a simple fact. The teamwork makes the dream work!
- Cultivate non-attachment. Trial by fire – fostering creativity is best done when flexibility and freedom are part of the value set. Lead by the rules of creativity when hiring and managing a creative. What does that mean?
- Balance intrinsic with extrinsic. Don’t overpay creatives, but do not underpay them either. In simpler terms, creatives value more than just monetary recognition. Build other more intrinsic forms of acknowledgement into your reward structure.
- Be here and there. Give space and avoid pressuring creativity to produce, but always follow up. Create specific check points on the road to reaching a final product or solution, but do not hold too firm to set processes. Being flexible and available to help manage creatives is key. Find a balance in your management style.
- Welcome Change. Surprise creatives with opportunities for and openness to change. They are prewired to seek out change, even when it is counterproductive to linear thinking. Call upon creatives to root out complex ideas and create simple solutions! It’s what they best and how they can contribute most.
Be agile in your approach to the creative process. Encourage rapid fire and adaptation as part of the rules of engagement when cultivating ideas and producing results. Strike a balance between feeding the spirit if the personal muse and sustaining strong teamwork. Your creative team and business will be the better for it.
- Hire Smart. The creative approach is not a best-fit for everyone. (Yes, even if everyone has the potential to think and act as a creative.) To successfully hire creatives is to manage your expectations as a leader and their flexibility as a team member.
The key is to hire and find creative individuals with the capacity to be open minded. As a lead entrepreneur, you need your team to be capable of creativity and seeing value in their contributions. But, at the end of the day, alternative opinions and directions will come to the table during the creative process.
Your team of creatives must be able to cope and thrive in that environment. Cultivate the understanding that doing so is best for the collective bottom line. And, voilà, bug picture thinking is born!
- Reflection is the Best Mirror. It starts and ends at the top. As a leader, entrepreneur and business owner you are an integral part of the creative team you build. Hold yourself to the standards and expectations you set for them. What role do you play in better supporting a creative?
Reflect back on your intentions, actions and results. You are cultivating creativity alongside and in alignment with the creatives you choose to hire and manage. Stay committed to the plan when the going gets easy, and when it gets tough.
If your results do not mirror your vision, do not abandon ship. At the helm, a creative leader must hold firm to prioritizing teamwork when stoking the creative flame. Solutions are just as much a part of the creative process as new ideas, matching linear and nonlinear thinking to tackling a problem. And, I would even go as far as to say that creative solutions are the most rewarding of innovations, especially when the results prove true to your team’s intentions.
Make the Connection
Innovation necessitates creativity. Creativity requires a team of creatives that make the connection. Ideas are nothing without action. Empower your business and inspire your team by successfully hiring and managing creatives who connect the dots, linking creativity with the linear progression of making a concept a reality.
The bottom line is that cultivating creativity is the key. Creative thinking has the power to align a strategic business plan with living your passion. The creative process inspires big picture thinking, which leads to innovation. I challenge you to think and act bigger! Challenge your team to do the same.
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Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19.
Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success, and create a more meaningful life. Pinnacle Global Network, a world leader in scaling companies and empowering business leaders has guided thousands of CEO's and Founders to success over the past decade. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company, and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox across the US. She is also the host and producer of The Scale or Fail Show podcast, and the Women Who Own it Podcast in partnership with WBENC, the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in North America.
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