Archive for April 25, 2016

In case you’re not aware, we creatives have a bad reputation and to some extent we deserve it. One of the reasons other people love to have us around is we have a seemingly non-stop supply of ideas. One of the reason Some people hate having is around is because we have a seemingly non-stop supply of ideas. The difference between the two depends on how well we play with others.

Let me explain. If you have a creative idea and you can pull it off all by yourself, and if you have the authority to make al the decisions, great. Go for it and give it all you’ve got. Of course that situation is about as rare as a pink unicorn. For the rest of us, we need to get the buy it if not the help of others. In order for that to happen. It’s not enough to have a great idea, you have to be able to help others see it, support it and maybe even help you to execute it. If we don’t do this, the complaints will start. You know the ones, we’re flighty, unpredictable, undependable, not team players, etc.

So how do you overcome this?
1. Communicate. Share the idea. Don’t assume others are stupid if they don’t get it. In the early stages of your idea, it’s your imaginary friend. You’re the only one who can see it, the only one who gets it, and communicating it is entirely on you. You need to share a compelling vision, help your team to see it and get the buy in. The more you can help them to see, the less suspicion you will generate and the more support you’ll get.

2. Give them a picture. A picture really is worth a thousand words, at least. The easier it is to see what’s on your mind the more they will be able to help you.

3. Respect input. If you an only see one way of doing something, the best thing you can do is do it yourself. If you’re going to work with a team, remember you probably selected these people because you think they have something to offer so listen to them.

4. Be open. If your project is ultimately about getting something done, and you need to work with a team, realize you are not the only one with an idea and someone else’s idea might be better than yours. If you’re going to work together, embrace that this means actually working together and benefit from the ideas and experience of others.

5. Sometimes you have to teach. Let’s say you’re in charge. Your idea has been approved by the powers that be and it’s all on you. None of those things mean the other people, people you depend on to get the job done, have a clue how to do it. You need to show them the way, teach them what to do and monitor the progress. Oh you an be a tyrant and belittle people into compliance if you want to, but we’ve all worked with that guy and it does nothing but solidify the reputation of another impossible creative. Don’t be that guy.

Bottom line. Ideas are useless if we cannot bring them to fruition and share them with the world. That usually requires the input of others and that requires us to be able to communicate what only we can see.