Artfully Managing the Work of Your Creative Team

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Managing creative teams is crucial to the success of any modern day business. As these creative members bring fresh ideas, thoughts and perspectives to your brand and help you, take your brand close to the target audience. They play an important role in the success of your business. In the highly competitive world, you need management skills not only to get the job done efficiently but also to retain the talent. It requires you to create an environment where your creative team and other staff delivers amazing results without any pressure or stress.

Understanding your team members and educating them about the organizational culture, business goals, and the project requirements are important. Managing creative teams requires exceptional communicational skills, negotiation and convincing abilities. Once you have a team in place, you need to establish long-term business association, a great working relationship with all the members of the team, regular one-on-one meetings to understand their problems, needs etc., so they perform well.

Apart from communication, there are other factors that help managing creative team effectively. Here are a few points to keep in mind when managing creative team for your business:

Help Understand Project Requirements: Managers need to deliver multiple projects on tough deadlines, which requires working efficiently from the word go! Clients have specific needs, so it is better to have a better understanding of what the client expects from your team, so you do not delay the project or have to rework. Give the right suggestions for the team to brainstorm for ideas and let the ball rolling. It is always a great idea to give the direction the project needs, so your team delivers it on time.

Follow-Up: While it is important not to pester your creative team with frequent follow-ups, briefings, etc., you need to make sure that the project is heading in the right direction to meet the fixed deadline. Constantly running behind the team may put unnecessary pressure and stress on the team. You may handle multiple projects as a manager, but you still have to take time to follow-up regularly on every project so you know the project will meet the set quality and deadline expectations of the client.

Be a Coach not a Boss: In the modern corporate environment, no member of the staff likes their managers bossing around; creative people dislike it taking orders from their managers. It helps if you act as a coach offer suggestions and tips, as they prefer challenges and love to prove their mettle by completing the project with high quality and within the specified time.

Offer Learning Opportunities: Creative people love challenges, and learning. It is important to offer great learning opportunities to your team, so they grow professionally. Assigning different types of projects that require your team to use all their creative skills helps bring the best out of them, while offering them great learning opportunities. Such projects keep your team on their toes, as they expect a new challenge in every project.

Create Amicable Work Environment: As a manager, you need to define the roles, responsibilities of your creative team within the team and with reference to the other departments in the other organization.  Clarity of roles is an important element in managing your creative team; it helps your team work without any confusion or conflict within the team or with other departments. It is also important that the physical environment, internal decoration, etc., is positive so the team feels safe and motivated to work.  Make sure the space, colors, designs, styles match the attitude of the team and foster creativity.

Encourage Teamwork: When managing teams you cannot pit one against the other to get the best out of each member or make one person responsible for the success or failure of the project or part of it, it is important that you emphasize the contribution of the team as a whole to deliver the project on time.

Recognize Individual Contribution: While teamwork is crucial for success of projects, it is equally important that you recognize and appreciate the contributions of individuals in the accomplishment of the project. However, the challenge lies in striking the right balance between commending the team and recognizing the individual contributions and efforts.

Managing creative teams require a mix of management and leadership skills, there are no set principles keeping your creative team happy and getting the best out of them. You need to offer direction with your leadership skills so the team works towards the goals of the organization and manage their work efficiently with your management skills making sure they are highly productive.

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