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COMMUNICATION IS KEY Being able to take a long lunch or hit the gym at 2 p.m., though, is only part of the equation when it comes to keeping your team’s gears welloiled. The second piece of the puzzle is all about ensuring that your lines of communication are open, from interns to VPs. Again, great ideas come from every rung of the ladder. To this point, Arne van Oosterom of Holland’s the DesignThinkers Group makes an important observation: “A lot of times the ‘idea people’ at a company don’t feel like they are understood by management, and that they don’t have a strong [communication] link to them. They feel like they need schemes to trick management into liking their ideas. That does nothing but decrease morale and bring about creative road-blocks.” He adds, “If you have a great idea and you work for a large organization, many times it might seem easier to just start your own business rather than convince the company you work for to do it. If you

don’t feel that your great idea will ever reach the upper levels of management, that’s what is likely to happen. Managers need to be aware of this.” Lesson to be learned? Delineate clear lines of communication and invite employees from all levels in the organization to share ideas.

MICHAEL SCHAEFFER “What’s really important to me is to create an environment where people are willing to share. Not only, ‘Here’s what I did,’ but also ‘Here’s an idea, take from it and work on it and change it.’ There are companies where designers lock up their drawings at night because they’re afraid that someone is going to steal their ideas. We hire people who are supremely creative but who, from a personality standpoint, aren’t afraid to open up their books. That’s honestly hard to find, but people need to be confident to share because one person rarely does it all.”

JULIA HU “Creative people don’t want to be told how to get from Point A to Point B. They like it when you say, ‘We need you to get to Point B.’ Companies that try to micromanage creative people tend to fall short because they don’t harness creativity to make a better process.”


In Managing Creativity we pick the brains of some very unique creative leaders from all walks of life – CEOs, filmmakers, educators, music p...