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How to Manage Creative People
They're not at as wild as you think. They are actually some of the smartest people you might meet. And that's the problem!
"What exhausts them is the inability of so many people to simply communicate, guide and direct them. The assumption is that they're creative and they'll just figure it out. "
This according to Steve Nubie, a veteran of the creative front who has worked in creative departments at Ad Agencies, client companies and has written numerous books, articles and entertainment scripts from the Twilight Zone to McDonald's.
"Everyone wants to believe that creative people can figure it all out. The simple answer is they can. But they can do so much better if they have more than a clue about the problem, opportunity or solution someone is looking for."
Nubie feels that one of the reasons innovation has stalled in many American companies is related to this lack of insight.
"It's rare that you see an intelligent or insightful brief. What you usually get is a litany of worries, copy points, and a long list of people to talk to who rarely agree on anything. It's a total waste of creative time because it's all a hand-off and the creative person has to come up with the silver-bullet to magically fix everything."
So what's a mother to do?
"3 things." Nubie said. "And every creative person knows them all too well. You fake it, you figure it out, and you hope. And it all sucks. But every now and again you run into someone who knows how to manage the creative herd. And that's when wonderful things happen."
Nubie's book, Navigating The Creative Process: 6 Steps to Creative Success outlines what he wishes would have happened more often in his career.
"I was really hoping this would be an upbeat and positive approach to creative, but then every creative person I ever worked with would have laughed and called me a sell-out. So it's brutal, honest, inflammatory, and all true. I don't think any of us in creative want it that way, but if you get a good night's sleep every night you're not in the creative business."
Across the creative path Nubie describes are some of the top creative names in the business from Bob Scarpelli, the Chief Creative Officer of DDB Worldwide to Chief Creative Officer Luis Miguel Messianu of Alma DDB, retired Executive Creative Director Allen Klein of Leo Burnett, and many more.
"I've met people who are creative engines. They fuel the process and they understand something that's hard to define. Creative people define a unique community. But what defines them best is the simple fact that they're never satisfied. That's what makes them creative in the first place. Yet, too many people see that as a fault and a weakness. To me a satisfied creative person is either dead or has been faking it all along."
So can a creative person ever stop being creative?
"I don't know. It's kind of a decision you make and once you make it you can't go back. But then for many of us, it's not a decision at all. It's just an affliction you can't stop and you look for ways to express it. If you're lucky you find the right people and the right opportunities to turn that creativity to positive expressions. That's what gets me the most. Instead of finding a creative new way to create a Ponzi scheme, so many creative people are out there working hard to do the right thing and searching for good problems to solve. Now if only we could find more people to motivate them with the energy and the willingness to give them the right direction..."
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Steve Nubie's book Navigating the Creative Process: 6 Steps to Creative Success can be found at Smashwords.com or at Amazon.com.