How to Manage Creative People

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One of the biggest challenges faced by many of today's administrative managers is how to effectively manage creative people.

Task oriented managers often find it difficult to watch creative people work. Idea people need lots of freedom and they often don't look like they're working. Yet, very often, doing nothing is when their "wheels are spinning" like crazy. They're also not necessarily motivated by money. Creatively solving the client's problem is their raison d'être.

Creative employees tend to be tactile and sensitive to their surroundings. They need a work environment that's open, bright and reflects freedom. Give them windows to look out of, blackboards to write on, products to "play" with. Do not hover over them or micromanage their every move. And don't burden them with TPS Reports (see the movie Office Space), needless timecards, and too many "status" meetings. They need to get out of the office often--to see the client's products, meet customers and see their environment.

It's important when managing creative types to give them all the information they need to solve a problem and not parse out data over time. And nothing frustrates them more than non-creatives tinkering with their ideas. Granted, everyone likes to "play in the creative sandbox," but while "I left my Heart in Oakland" may meet some of the client's requirements, it's no substitute for "I left my Heart in San Francisco."

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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.


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