When Creative Leaders Become Institutionalized

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I work with creative teams for a living. From media production to communications strategy to coaching through a crisis, I love creative teams focused on helping organizations share their message with the culture. But time to time, I encounter leaders that have become institutionalized. They play it safe, stop taking risks, and look for

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Creatives: Should You Discuss Your Project Before It’s Finished?

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I’m fortunate to be friends with a lot of highly creative writers, artists, musicians, and filmmakers. But a significant number never realize their full potential, and in fact, never actually finish many projects. It baffled me for awhile, but then after years of observing them, I discovered the problem:

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Leaders: Is A Member of Your Team Holding You Back?

Here's how to figure it out...

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A large organization needed to hire an web-design agency, so they interviewed and evaluated five choices. The leadership team made the final decision, so after careful consideration it was decided by a majority which agency would be best. However, the organization’s communications director – the in-house person who would be the point person with the agency, didn’t like the choice. He wanted another web design company he knew and was more comfortable with, but he had to abide by the leadership team’s decision.  However,

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Why Your Last Meeting Went Bad

Here's a List of Symptoms You Can Fix

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I attend a lot of meetings, and although 90% of them are unnecessary, I realize the remaining few can be incredibly important. Pitching an idea, making a presentation, networking, coaching, leading a team, getting project updates and more, usually need meetings in order to happen. But in far too many cases, most of us would admit to massive meeting failure. You don’t get that important job, your creative idea is turned down, you’re outvoted, or

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Camille Pissarro: A Painter Who Changed the Way We See

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I was thinking recently about the differences between an “artist” and a “artisan.” An artisan is good at what he or she does. They’re gifted and often brilliant. But an “artist” changes the conversation. They force us to see or do something in a different way, forever altering our view of the world. A few years ago, Kathleen and I were in Milwaukee visiting the Milwaukee Art Museum. (Great museum by the way). They were

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The Power of Small Creative Teams

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When it comes to brainstorming and creative teams, Jeff Bezos at Amazon.com says to keep them small. Usually, when I’m involved in creative meetings with clients, most organizations want 20-30 people in meetings and that’s just too large and unproductive a group to work. With a smaller group of key people, you don’t waste a lot of time and man hours on bad ideas. Plus, like a herd of cats, large creative teams are simply too unwieldy to manage well.  Small groups move faster and are more nimble.  The perfect number?  

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