May 14, 2019
Good leaders know that a positive work environment is more
important than vision, especially when it comes to leading a
creative team. Phil Cooke shares 10 tips to creating a vibrant
creative culture in your ministry or organization for your creative
team to reach their best work.
It’s no secret that culture is more important than
vision.I’ve worked in creative, vibrant cultures
where original thinking is valued and wonderful things happen. On
the other hand, I’ve worked at organizations where you could
literally feel the oppression when you walked into the building.
Those destructive cultures often have leaders with great vision and
potential, but because the culture is so negative, that vision
will never be realized.
So how to do you create a creative culture? Here are 10
principles I’ve used to turn around numerous organizational
- Build stability– Creative people need
stability. If they’re worried about losing their job, financial
problems, or excessive turnover, they’ll never release their best
ideas. Even when your organization or ministry is going through
difficult times, create an atmosphere of stability for the team.
You’ll be rewarded down the road.
- Create a safe culture– Creative people do not
respond well to criticism. Leaders who can help their team move
from bad ideas to legendary ideas are rare and it comes from
creating a safe and trusted culture.
- Keep your leadership on the same page– Make
sure your leadership team is unified and moving with you in
building a creative culture. One critical or disconnected leader or
manager can sow seeds of doubt that will topple the entire project
with your team.
- Allow for flexibility with your team– Creative
people don’t all operate on the same schedule or work the same way.
Give your team some flexibility and it will revolutionize their
attitude while unleashing their creativity.
- Get them the tools they need– Nothing drags a
creative team down as much as broken, old, or out-of-date tools.
Within your budget, do whatever you can to get them the right
computers, design tools and video equipment and send them to
conferences and seminars where they can interact and discover new
ways of doing things.
- Push them out of their comfort zone– Leaders
often think that creative people want to be left alone and operate
on their own schedule. While they probably won’t admit it, creative
people love deadlines because it gives them perspective on the
- Give them space– One of the most important
aspects of a creative culture, once it’s in process, is to get out
of the way of your creative team. We all know micro-managing is a
disaster for anyone – especially creatives. So give them space and
let them solve problems on their own.
- Understand your structure– Every organization
needs an organizational structure. Who reports to who matters, and
hierarchy is important. But when it comes to communication, I
recommend you throw the organizational structure out the
Your creative team should be able to call anyone to ask
questions and discuss ideas. Don’t force them to communicate
through supervisors, managers, or anyone else. Create a
free-flowing communications system, and the ideas will grow.
- Walk The Factory Floor– Leadership
expert John Maxwellrecommends that leaders “walk the
factory floor” and meet every employee. Develop a personal
relationship with employees at all levels – especially when it
comes to your creative team. Pixar and Disney Animation
President Ed Catmulltakes that seriously –
even when it comes to giving bonuses.
- Give them credit– Finally, a great creative
culture allows everyone to be noticed for their accomplishments.
Never take credit for your team’s work, and always give them the
honor they’re due. You’ll find that when you protect your creative
team and allow them to get the glory for their work, they’ll follow
you into a fire.
Creating a creative and positive culture in your organization is
one of the most important things you can do as a leader. Create
this culture and you and your team will do amazing things. – Phil
For more about designing a creative culture, visit Phil’s blog
Get a free eBook on Creativity! Sign up for Phil’s blog at
Find Ed Catmull’s book “Creativity, Inc.” on Amazon
Get Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence
People” here: https://amzn.to/2VklDAK
(Note that as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying
Listen to the Phil Cooke Podcast here:
Find out more about Cooke Media Group here: https://www.cookemediagroup.com
Visit Phil Cooke’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzivfiicpepFmAv5ZblgYWQ