3 Reasons Creatives Need to Embrace Process
Ad agency creatives are notorious for dismissing processes, systems or anything seen as remotely “restrictive.”
We’re convinced that the best ideas come spontaneously, and we all fantasize about some creative utopia where the barriers have been removed — liberating us to think, design, write and produce freely as the universe intended.
Not so much.
Here are three important reasons to embrace creative process:
1. Creativity is born out of restriction
We all like to think that the freedom to do things like play ping-pong on the job somehow spurs great ideas. But many times we do our best work under extreme pressure? There’s a reason why people embrace contests like The 48 Hour Film Project: They impose limits. Hey, would Twitter be Twitter or Vine be Vine if they weren’t highly restrictive on content? Of course not — they’d be Facebook.
2. When you embrace creative process you save time
Admit it, we creatives can be a bit myopic sometimes.
Take time sheets: we all hate them, and we all think that tracking time is as useful to us as unlimited texting is to our grandparents.
But processes should free up time, not waste it.
Processes can’t eliminate project detours or lengthen deadlines, but they can manage workflow, speed traffic, fine-tune briefings for quicker kick-offs, minimize distractions and eliminate rounds of revisions. It comes down to creating the right process. Is it scalable? Does it work for everyone? Does it encourage accountability or give people something to hide behind?
3. Positive Process = Positive Culture = Better Client Chemistry
We talk a lot about Holistic Marketing at Macleod & Co. — how a healthier culture sets the stage for a more profitable business. That’s true with agency cultures more than most. And processes can make or break agency culture. Clients consider “chemistry” when they look for an agency. But if your agency doesn’t have chemistry internally, you’ll never achieve it externally.
Erin Russell is a Sr. Creative Designer at Macleod & Co., the Holistic Marketing Agency ™ based in Minneapolis. We believe that in a hyper-social world, culture drives success, every employee is a customer touch point, and every customer is a broadcast network. We live at the intersection of marketing and organizational effectiveness. And we see marketing as the entire process of bringing a product, service or business from inception to maximum ongoing profitability.