Dis Creative Guys Sef…
Over the years, I’ve had to watch a few MDs openly express their displeasure over the work style of a few of my colleagues in the Creative Unit.
I’ve heard them complain about a particular Creative person’s physical appearance – his shirts not tucked in, his hair/beards not well-cut; his nonchalant attitude to work/deadlines, recurrent carelessness in paying attention to details, seemingly fake excuses for missing work and lackadaisical attitude towards punctuality.
Most times, Creative people come across as a bunch of lazy, non-productive clowns who play all day and get very little work done. Is sack an option? Maybe. Do things really get better with the recruitment of a new creative egghead? I don’t think so. Same ol’ story.
I must say most MDs are sticklers for rules, detail and accuracy and it must really hurt to have to contend with persons who are nothing like them. I’m sure that if there’s anything they have come to realize in their decades of working in an Advertising Agency, it must be the awesome fact that Creative People cannot be totally bound by a set of rules/mode of conduct. We are wired differently. (I should paste on our door ‘SEE! WE ARE NORMAL…NOT!’). It’s perfectly okay if you find our lifestyles and behaviours a little strange.
You may see us sitting at our desks, staring at the ceiling, watching or talking about a movie, listening to loud music, simply laughing out loud and may think we’re blatantly slacking off, wasting company’s time and money. In all instances, you are probably wrong.
The fact of the matter is this – great creative ideas come from the subconscious mind. And the best way to let it work is to leave it alone. It is often while we gaze, chitchat about mundane stuff and daydream that some of the best ideas pop into our heads, because we are relaxed, calm, out from under the weight of managerial pressures.
Talking about managerial pressures, can you all cut us some slack? Creative people work their best when there is no one hovering over them, micromanaging their every move. They like to feel autonomous, like their own boss, independent and without distraction. Asking for a progress report before we’ve finished a project will not only interrupt the process, but it will make us feel watched, managed and stifled. This is not to say that we do not respect deadlines, we very much do so, but we don’t need managers on our shoulders every step of the way.
When Creative guys aren’t working together to brainstorm ideas, they need to be left alone. Management also needs to understand that very often doing nothing is exactly what the creative process looks like. It’s OK to do nothing. Most of the best creative works were created in solitude.
What motivates Creative people? Truth be told, we don’t need extra money to do a good job. All we need is a pat on the back for a job well done; after all we absorb all the criticisms too. We’re really that simple. A ‘guys that was a great job. The client loved every single creative design’ comment would go a long way.
Instead of political battles over a well-furnished office, access to the MD, or a bigger title/position, Creative people are more interested in the color of their office, some latitude with hairstyles/clothes, being able to listen to music while they work. Grant them all these and you’ll see their motivation and quality of work dramatically increase. Whether or not one can be creative without some level of ‘craze’ is a topic for another day.
As long as they keep up, meet with deadlines and are doing great work, what does it matter when and how they do it?
I’m certain other units have their idiosyncrasies. Please share, so that we can work better with compromises here and there. Thank you in advance.
Admit it or not, Creative people are a rare specie…going extinct maybe. We’re not saying we’re the best, we’re only asking, who’s better?