The world of business has often secluded professions labelled as a creative job.
Yet, when you somehow manage to become successful in that role you are celebrated for your expertise and talent. In fact, it is only in recent times that the concept of being an independent business as well as a creative community and/or person has become reality for the large majority.
How often do you find yourself in a position where you are required to be creative within very specific parametres, perhaps in a role considered uncreative and down right dull? Further, you need to outsource this particular project because you simply do not have the creativity or talent to pull it off.
And then, how often do you feel like your designer, photographer, commissioned artist, web developer and so on do not fulfil your vision? Like your $5 better go a long way, especially for some “two-bit” artist’s unique piece created specifically for you. A piece which may represent you, your company or that moment you said: “I do”.
Think about that moment when a friend asks you or you decided to ask a friend to do something for you, for free. Something they spend hours trying to market and perfect, something which captures in one breath both their passion and livelihood. And how about that first moment you told someone that you sell your work for $5 a piece.
Do you want to know what I hear when someone tells me that? That your work, your unique creations, are worth just that. And asking me for skill as a favour like a bowl of sugar is not exactly the right way to show your support.
Please know that this comes from a place of optimism.
There was a time when creatives were simply considered artists. They were celebrated to the highest degree, nobles revelling in their art. It was an opportunity to remove oneself from poverty and rise through society. Parents of fairly-off families ensured their children’s ability to perform academically and creatively. Be it in music, dance, painting, writing or even archery, each society had and still has a skill they revel above all and honing that skill made you the best. Having a talent for that skill made you the centre of everything happening in the now.
Having a particular talent was adored. And for a long time, it was enough.
However, it simply is not enough. Not for the so called uncreative roles to remain without creativity and innovation simultaneously not for creative roles to remain with rigidity and focus.
Let us take the concept of design thinking. Design Thinking mobilises the flow of innovation within rigid business processes. It is a sustainable way for corporate environments to encourage creative thinking on all levels. A beautiful example of these two worlds bridging the gap between the severe and flamboyant. Vanessa Gavan writes: “learn how to inspire, capture, synthesise and guide creativity in others, and how to enable implementation of the resulting ideas. By mastering these skills, you’ll be able to harness the collective intelligence of everyone when developing solutions, not just a selected few ‘creatives’.” in her article titled The role of creative thinking in business.
So why not apply this logic to the world of creatives. Take the concept of design thinking and turn it into a concept where creatives bring process, implementation and focus to a creative’s talent and skill. Something I like to think of as Design Structuring.
As a creative your aptitude to innovate, inspire and implement is much higher than others. However, we find ourselves with many skills and constantly honing those creative talents and forgetting the skill to actually to do business. From setting your quarterly goals, annual budgets and overall marketing the creative community as a whole overlooks bringing these processes to their business activity. Embrace this opportunity to change your mindset from creating mediocre work for minimal value to accepting quality clients to create quality work at the value your time is worth.