Managing Creativity; Some Ideas for Success

Ideas are all around us. It doesn’t make them all great ideas, but nevertheless in the vastness of creativity, it is important to embrace the good ones, and let the other ones go for a future time – or the waste basket if deserving.

But the question is how to flesh out the good ones and run with them and nurture a culture where creativity thrives.

This may be a rant on a more managerial level, but I hope you might be able to take some of these lessons learned and apply them to your situation. If you are in a management role, then all the better, you may be able to affect real change. If you are a newbie, perhaps you can subtly infuse some of these ideas into your workplace.

Most offices – even the creative ones, have a time where cooperation and collaboration suffer. Perhaps it’s because those tasked with being creative have full to do lists, and by the time many of their projects are completed for the day, or combined with the latest brushfire, there’s no time for the spirit or energy necessary for creative collaboration.

I can only speak from my own experience, but creating an atmosphere for creativity comes from segregating those who are tasked with the next breakthrough in written, spoken or edited word need their own space and timeline to bring their concepts to light. Perhaps your office is small and does not afford the opportunity for a creative suite or lounge, but it might be great if you carved one out as the “thinking” space.

Creativity demands an all-hands on deck approach as well. There are many in our organizations who are task masters, accountants, operations folks – and it’s not to say they are not creative, but they certainly do not have it oozing from their every pore. However, those who are in donor relations, customer service or have an outgoing personality or history within the arts should be included in idea pitch meetings. With so much content to be generated either for website, YouTube, social media, newsletters, fundraising appeals, it helps to have a lot of ideas and engaged brains on board.

Be careful however, because the brainstorming sessions, no matter how informal, may wind up creating an unintended side-effect of have’s and have not’s. No-one creates this type of atmosphere on purpose, so tread lightly and only do so knowing that even though there are individuals who might say they don’t want to participate, but they may feel as if the others have a professional or personal advantage to being part of the creative team. Golden rule time: Remember to always treat others in this situation how you would like to be treated.

As has been written before, having your artistic directors and those charged with the creative productivity in your organization should be involved in the marketing approach if they are not already.

The future of advertising and promotion as a whole is going to come from the synthesis of the product, the marketing and the customer all coming together at the same time to build the story and the brand. For this to happen at the very highest levels of consumer products, it is going to take a huge shift in corporate culture.

We in the arts already have this access at our fingertips and are most likely already leveraging it for our own gains. We may not be doing it to the level we should, but the most successful of us have recognized this tremendous advantage we have to being entertaining, thoughtful, provocative and authentic, by simply being who we are.

Does it get any easier than that? Probably not!

About

Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years. Currently, Sean is a principal in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the U.S. including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference. Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street, a program of the Allentown Chamber of Commerce in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire or email him anytime at sking.aspire@gmail.com

Posted in Content Marketing, Creativity, Marketing, Synergy

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About Sean King
Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years.  Currently, Sean is a principle in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the United States including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference.  Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street program in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. He also blogs a artsmarketingblog.org.  You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire. Sean resides with his wife Natalie and son Haydn in the global crossroads of Fogelsville, Pa.