Who you are, how you choose to perceive and then consequently behave in your working environment, is more important to your in-house professional success than your design skills. As a matter of fact, those attributes directly impact the quality of your design projects. If you act in a way that disrupts or subverts the collaborative process, causes your clients and managers to distrust you or your peers to avoid you, your designs will suffer.
Following discussions with more than 60 creative leaders this summer, the omnipresent challenge of Creative Services leaders kept bubbling to the surface: career paths for creative staff. This common challenge pulls at the heart strings of creative leaders, because they want to pay their people more money and want to provide them with more opportunities, but there isn’t always a business case to support those desires. Seemingly the larger the team, the more opportunities that exist for advancement. But typically the percentage of opportunities is similar, only the frequency of opportunities is higher.
In-house design departments have the advantage of a guaranteed client base. In large corporations, however, it’s often surprising how many areas of the firm are not aware of the service. How do you get the word out to establish your place in the company as an indispensable resource, on par with agencies?
Boost your marketability by adding a few in-demand skills to your repertoire. For example, being able to design eye-catching presentations with Keynote can increase your attractiveness to employers.
Communication is crucial for building a cohesive creative team – but it doesn’t always come easily, especially when you’re dealing with different personality types. Read about four personality types and tips for communicating effectively with each one in The Creative Group’s eZine.
Whether you’ve recently inherited a team or you’ve been working with the same core group for several years, it’s likely your team is a mix of rock stars, steady performers, and underperformers—otherwise known as “A”, “B”, and “C” players. It’s important to have a healthy mix of “A” and “B” players on a team because you can’t keep the rock stars engaged if there are more rock stars than exciting opportunities, and “B” players are necessary to support your department’s bread and butter projects.
No matter how great your talent, you’ll likely be the recipient of bad news from time to time. How gracefully and effectively you respond to negative feedback can have an impact on your career. Discover strategies for making the most of a less-than-perfect critique in The Creative Group’s eZine.
Battles are easy to find inside any organization. Big egos, unsolicited opinions and turf-protectors slouch under every streetlight. And out come knives and chains when you round the corner with fresh ideas.
But as in-house creatives, it’s important to pick our battles. We can’t win every fight, and nobody likes dealing with someone who rolls out a nuclear arsenal to defend a project’s every detail.
InSource, THE resource for creative in-house leadership has teamed with Cella Consulting, THE source for creative in-house management consulting, to create a series of annual reports on the state of affairs affecting in-house creative leaders. Both InSource and Cella have missions that set them apart from most other in-house organizations in that they have identified “creative leadership” as their main focus.
Often in-house creative shops blur the distinction between account and project management since they are perceived to be similar, but, in truth, the two roles are quite different. They require different skill sets and different focuses – and there is even a natural tension between the two functions in providing good service to clients. Account management is all about strategic management: understanding client needs, defining solutions for those needs, “selling” those solutions to the client and advocating for that solution during the creative process. Project management is all about the details: tasks, resources, deadlines, accuracy and coordination between different process participants.