Creative Leadership Challenges and Their Possible Solutions in 2022 (Part 2)
2022 has been a transformative year for creative teams and the ones that lead them. The recent changes have brought on high rewards, together with a new set of challenges. This week, we will address three more challenges that Creative Leaders face. With every challenge comes a solution – we have you covered on that front, too.
Read on to find out about the solutions we suggest after each challenge. We hope you feel better equipped to deal with all challenges your creative leadership lifestyle may throw your way.
Before we dive into it, we wish to leave you with this quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt “a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor“.
Recommended reading: Creative Stimulation: How a Simple ‘Ha-Ha’ Can Make You ‘A-Ha’!
1. Finding and Retaining the Right People
The Challenge: We are currently seeing an unprecedented surplus of opportunities, combined with record shortages in the workforce. And it is not happening to a handful of countries only – the issue is global. It goes without saying that it is tough to find the right personnel and make sure they stick around long term. Add record inflation numbers to the mix, and you get to our present job market climate, where job seekers have a plethora of opportunities to choose from, and employers are becoming increasingly desperate to fill essential positions.
This is a perfect storm of a job market, where the tables have turned, and employees hold more power than before. So how do you attract, and keep attracting, the right people? How can you stand out in a sea of corporate sameness? And how do you ensure you select the right fit, and not whoever is willing to take up the job?
The Solution: Qualitative research on the issues of employee attraction and retention abounds. Look at the infographic below on the benefits of employee retention:
Credit: Oracle NetSuite
The most influential study conducted suggests two main themes that will significantly boost your chances of success:
1.1 Provide Great Compensation and Benefits
This is straightforward – the most competitive employer in this area wins the right people over and gets to keep them the longest. We recommend you follow these steps in revisiting the salary range, benefits package, and other incentives you offer:
- Establish as high a budget as you are comfortable with
Employees will only feel that you truly value them and wish for them to remain with the company long term if you show your appreciation with tangible rewards. If business objectives need to be measurable and all, shouldn’t employee objectives be the same? Be generous with your potential future employees and the job market will return that generosity.
- Increase flexibility in how and when work gets done
Long gone are the days when people would have to come into an office five days a week, from 9am till 5pm minimum. The pandemic, for all its challenges, taught us a valuable lesson – that of remote work and trust. Creative leadership in 2022 entails allowing people to get non-urgent work done when it’s convenient for them. The way we now think about work has shifted dramatically – and employees wish for work to exist next to their personal lives, not against it.
1.2 Increase Employee Morale
The other factor impacting employee retention immensely is the atmosphere at work. It is useful to ask yourself the following questions in revisiting your workplace:
- What is the company culture like and what could be improved?
- Do you organize enough events so employees can create memories together?
- Are you providing employees with adequate personal and professional development opportunities?
- How do you deal with conflicts in the workplace?
- Do employees feel they are adequately heard and supported by the organization?
Need more on employee retention? Employee Retention: 10 Strategies for Retaining Top Talent
2. Inapt Requests
The Challenge: Creative leadership and teams have spoken, and we have listened! As outlined in our Q2 2022 Creative Management Report, almost half of creative teams are faced with inapt requests. When receiving requests for creative work, many senders lack a solid understanding of the creative process. The result? Creatives receive work that they struggle wrapping their heads around. Meanwhile, their stakeholders think the team is taking too long and asking too many questions. The result? Unnecessary back and forth that:
- Costs valuable time
- Creates a lot of frustration for both sides
- Causes the creative team delays in completing their projects
The Solution: We may be biased in saying this, but we know it in our heart of hearts that a Creative Workflow solution like ours will take care of your troubles in this area.
Our Review + Approval tool offers Online Proofing so you can:
2.1 Stop Endless Feedback Loops
Deliver clearer, more actionable feedback in real time, using the following features:
- Intuitive drawing, text, and canvas tools for crystal clear feedback.
- @mention feature that lets you direct feedback to the right people.
- Instructions function that allows designers to create specific instructions before sending proof.
2.2 Remove Project Bottlenecks
Your feedback, located in one place. Save yourself the headache by:
- Streamlining all feedback sent and received so you eliminate misunderstandings.
- Verifying edits easier than ever before with side-by-side comparisons.
- Gaining clearer insights into what each of your team members is working on.
2.3 Revisit Work w/ Streamlined Collaboration and Approvals
Can you imagine a world where your projects are not delayed by late approvals from stakeholders? Our software makes that a reality. With Online Proofing, you can:
- Specify whose approval is needed and in which order.
- Choose if a reviewer’s approval is essential or non-essential.
- Accelerate the approval process with customizable templates based on department, type of asset, and any other criteria.
Read this to improve your request intake process: Tips to Perfect Your Creative Intake Process
3. Ad-hoc, Last Minute Changes
The Challenge: This is one of the most unpleasant issues, and it occurs often – too often. Imagine work on a project is almost complete. Everyone involved is feeling proud about what they have accomplished. A lot of planning, thought, mental and physical labor have gone into creating something from a rough idea to a fully realized product. You think the worst is behind you and have planned for some downtime to recharge your creative batteries.
Suddenly, a last-minute change turned everything around. You switch from relaxation mode to an anxious state way sooner than you would have liked to. Instead of taking it easy like you wanted, you are now stuck with figuring out how the change impacts every aspect of the project. Storytelling? Needs to be amended. Visuals? Need to be thrown out of the window, much like your patience has at this point.
The Solution: Be strategic in how you approach such changes. No one likes to revisit work and make changes to it, so keep that firmly in mind. Know the personalities in your team well enough to deliver the news in the best way possible. Try the following:
3.1 Understand What Influences the Changes
It helps to gain a firm grasp on where the change is coming from, and whether it is influenced by budgetary, data, or resource-driven changes. Knowing why such a last-minute change occurs helps justify the need for it for yourself and others.
3.2 Assess the Impact and Brace Yourself for It
Make sure you answer the following questions before moving to the next step:
- Is the request a nice-to-have or a must?
- Which areas of the project will be impacted?
- How big is the impact on each area?
- Does your team have the capacity to make the requested changes happen?
- Who needs to be involved in implementing the changes?
Have all the answers you need? Great, you can now move to the hardest part, if applicable.
3.3 Communicate the Changes to Your Team
This is the most crucial step in the process and the one likely to involve the most resistance from project participants. You need to make sure that you:
- Convey your appreciation for your team’s hard work on the project.
- Communicate the changes and the reason for them clearly.
- Are open to and accept all frustrations your team expresses.
Once all the above is said and done, read the following article on What Makes for an Effective Creative Brief to minimize or prevent this from happening in the future.
Are you faced with creative leadership challenges you would like to see addressed in the future? Let us know!
Are you interested in tools that will help you address current creative leadership challenges and provide you with the support needed for future ones? Lytho helps you streamline your entire workflow and harmonize all brand collateral under a single, uniform platform. Feel free to reach out to us by scheduling a demo and learning how our creative solutions can boost the effectiveness of your creative projects. We look forward to speaking with you!