Being part of a creative agency can be one of the most fulfilling, engaging endeavors that a person can undertake. However, providing the appropriate climate and finding an adequate balance of creative and administrative minds can be exhausting.
Every agency’s dream is to be creative but the dream is not the issue. The problems lie in the space between creativity and traditional business practices. What are some of those problems?
Many companies can lose sight of what it was that they set out to do in the first place. Their original mission and purpose begins to fade as success and profitability begin to take a front seat. This progression lends itself more to traditional norms in business rather than innovative and revolutionary concepts. Conflict can arise here, especially when a company’s “why” involved being creative.
In the modern day, people move to new cities and take new jobs for different reasons than they used to. A company’s culture often takes precedence over salary. A city’s amenities and livability trump its geographical location or job opportunities. Your company will have a culture whether you focus on it or not. Why not devote some time and resources to making sure your company’s culture is one that is desirable and attracts the right kind of employee?
A common balance in an agency is roughly an 80/20 split between billed work (80) and focus on culture and creativity (20). This at least commonly stated as a goal for many. What happens when billed work starts to become overwhelming? Does your company start to neglect its creative expression and culture in favor of producing for clients? This can be a dangerous precedent to set and can make a company less desirable from an employee perspective.
Consider what attracts clients in the first place. They are drawn to the creativity of an agency’s work and the passion they can create as a partner. Companies should not let their clients dictate too many changes in their culture. The clients should be informed about the importance of creative-focused teams. It benefits both sides of the client-agency relationship. The agency can produce better work and the client will be happier.
Hiring more well-rounded employees can also help to maintain a healthy balance. Candidates that exemplify both creative and account driven traits, they should be of higher value to an agency. The more people that can be innovative and adhere to necessary tradition at the same time, the better an agency can perform. A versatile workforce can be an immeasurable asset.
Possibly the most important aspect of solving creative culture problems within an agency is getting employees to buy in. If everyone on your team isn’t pulling in the same direction, you’re not going to get very far. Regardless of their title, all team members should have the goal to make good work and maintain a creative culture. This clear sense of purpose can be a powerful driving force within an agency. All team members should celebrate success and take ownership in failure. As the bonds within a company get stronger, so does the company as a whole.