A good deal of my week is spent motivating copywriters and designers, or ‘creatives’ as I like to call them, to generate extraordinary, earth-shattering ideas in limited pockets of time. Easy, right? Not exactly.
It’s no secret that the advertising industry moves at warp speed, and as a project manager, I plan ahead for everything, including structuring a work environment that fosters and intentionally sets time aside for creativity. We ‘Stay Ready’, so we never have to get ready.
This ‘Stay Ready’ mindset empowers the creative team to consistently be prepared to tackle preplanned and last minute creative challenges, to feel confident presenting thoughtful creative content and to continue to stand out as tastemakers within the creative field.
Whether you’re a creative or project manager, I’ve compiled a list of five ways to ‘Stay Ready’ for any creative challenge that come your way:
1. Think outside of the agency
No matter how open and bright your workspace is, a change of scenery and pace can inspire new ideas. Get out of the office - go for a walk, work at a nearby cafe or check out the latest cultural event happening in your city - and most importantly, make sure your creatives take vacation to go see the world. You never know what a trip to their favorite destination could inspire.
2. Pump up the volume
There’s nothing like a good groove to get your creatives in the mood to create. If you can get their feet tapping, you can get their imaginations running. Whether it’s classical or hip hop, keep the mood right for your team, so they’re always in the mood to create.
3. Get in the sandbox
If fire can spark a bigger fire, then creativity can also foster more creative thinking. Find ways to initiate sandbox opportunities for your creatives to meet other creatives - try networking events, meetups or happy hours.
4. Don’t knock it, try it
Encourage your creatives to try everything (within reason, of course). New experiences can offer new perspectives. They don’t have to like the experience, but at least they’ll have it handy to throw into the discussion for your next big brainstorm!
5. Monkey see, monkey do better
Make it a point to look at what other creative pieces are floating around in the industry and brainstorm ideas to make it better. Putting a personal spin on existing projects encourages teams to flex their innovation muscles. Besides, the most creative ideas aren’t always the first ones to hit the market.