By: Delaney Parsons, Production Artist
Disclaimer: I am not a writer by trade, so bear with me on this. There’s about a 65% chance of intentional grammatical errors and run-on sentences.
Now, I’d like to discuss the fragile niche that creativity calls home in an agency environment. It rests within the deepest, darkest crevasses of the office. It purrs under preconceived notions. “This project is going to be stressful.” “This is going nowhere.” It is a magnificent, deceitful, elusive, unicorn that taunts you from behind your computer screen. When you think you might have caught it, or at least know where to find it, the ominous realization that you are utterly mistaken begins to sink in.
Creativity is a boulder that claims countless victims under its crushing pressure. (To be clear, being “creative” is hard enough as it is.) Designers, media buyers, managers, and account exec’s alike often get separated from the herd and trade their creativity for laziness due to workplace tension and insufficient communication.
Fostering creativity is one of the most vital team-building/business-building/individual-growth skills to fight for in your office. To make that bed, you’ll need a few things: a fantastic fleet of imaginative employees, managers who encourage and lead, and substantial, honest, professional communication on all fronts. This means THOROUGH communication, HONEST collaboration, and above all, you need to remain professional by not allowing your emotions—or ego—to get the best of you. Creativity cannot thrive in a hostile work environment. Rifts in workplace relationships smother creativity, and eventually, business as a whole.
I can’t say it enough. COMMUNICATE, build professional relationships, LISTEN, and collaborate with your teammates. Yes, I say teammates, not coworkers, because that’s exactly how you should treat the people around you. You are a team, working together to achieve a common goal. How can you create award-winning work when no one can agree or communicate? Your workplace culture has to be AIRTIGHT for business and individual employees to flourish.
So, how do we make sure of that? Tension is inevitable in the office, because like, Debbie from PR ate that piece of chocolate cake you were saving from Wednesday’s birthday lunch (UGH). But how do you keep your team moving forward and working together in spite of that tension? That, my friends, is (literally) the million-dollar question. From my humble point of view, I think the solution lies in an overall mindset shift.
Foster an environment that helps your employees progress. Teach them. Be POSITIVE. Give everyone chances to let their creativity flow, even employees who currently play “smaller” roles. This much is always true: Where there is opportunity, there is creativity. Make others feel appreciated and encouraged. Build an environment that will inspire them to collaborate. From there, creativity and amazing work will surely follow.