Ask yourself these 4 questions to discover whether your creative leadership encourages your team’s creativity—in ways that help you meet business goals.
Without context, a bulleted list of information is just information – easily memorized and easily forgettable. A story resonates by providing meaningful context that strikes an emotional chord while delivering relatable data. Remember this the next time you write a report, build a presentation, or give a speech.
It’s easy to incite emotions on the Internet, particularly anger and shock. Take a look at all the tabloid-style headlines advertised in the right-side columns and across the footers of numerous entertainment websites. If they aren’t focused on digging dirt on the latest celebrity in the news to spur your rage, these headlines are enticing you to look at shocking pictures of plastic surgery mishaps. The creators of this content know you are tuning all it out, so they are doing everything they can to appeal to your emotions as quickly as possible at a quick glance. And if there is that one chance something grabs you, like a photo of a cute kitten that’s too special for words with the most precious headline … they have you.
That’s the culture we operate in.
You have full creative freedom … do whatever you want….
Do you take those words from a client and run with them? Or do you cringe as you grasp for some semblance of boundaries in the project you have accepted? The concept of creative freedom is ambiguous: we all want it, but too much freedom leads a writer into dangerous territory.
Some people outside the creative professions assume writers and other creative-types want creative freedom more than anything else on their job. More than pay raises, promotions, or recognition for all their hard work. The common misconception is that creative professionals want to wander freely in an unstructured utopia, scribbling down ideas as they emerge, take naps and play games between brainstorming sessions, and work through the night when creative energy is at its peak.
In the process of content development, writers need background information about your company, products, services, audience, and goals. The more useful information you can provide upfront, the better quality of work will be produced. Let’s say you hire a speech writer to help you shape your keynote speech for an event. You don’t want the writer to pull common knowledge from the Internet as the basis of your speech, nor do you want him or her to provide inaccurate and off-topic content.
If you don’t understand why the rules exist, don’t bother trying to break them. You won’t succeed.
We’re all creative on different levels. Being creative doesn’t translate to possessing the talent to draw or paint beautiful pictures, it can mean solving complex problems using solutions no one else dreamt possible. Next time you’re about to tell someone you’re not creative: stop. Be patient. You will discover and develop your creative talents over time.
Innovation is not some useless corporate jargon. It’s a vital building block of American culture. Without it our business world would be void of character and substance. We would not have cars, planes, computers, or mobile devices. Think about that the next time you plan to insert a form of the word innovation into a press release.