I’m a big advocate for creativity and creative people. In fact, I’ve written a book on the subject, and I’ve taught it to teams around the world. But occasionally, I find creative people who use their creativity like a weapon to undermine projects, become control freaks, or play to their laziness. Here’s what I mean:
It happens when creative people think creativity is the only issue. But no matter how creative a product, idea, or project is, it will fail if it can’t be delivered on time. Plus, no matter how creative the idea, it will never be completed if you can’t get along with other team members.
Creativity is essential, but it will never reach the right audience and make an impact if it doesn’t have a strategy to be used correctly.
I recently spoke to a literary agent who told me about a writer he represented. The writer was a bestselling, incredibly talented author. But because he treated his editors with contempt and his publishers with scorn, nobody wanted to work with him. Despite his gigantic sales, he’d been through nine publishers, and his current project will probably never be read.
A few years ago, I worked with a very contemporary church with one of the country’s most creative television teams. They really did fantastic work on a weekly TV program produced by the church. The problem? They weren’t willing to adapt their creativity so the programming would get a better response. They weren’t ready to consider fundraising, promotional, or other response techniques. As a result, the otherwise unique program never gained support. Because the video team wanted to have fun and be wildly creative, the program eventually crashed and today limps along in a few markets.
The bottom line is – creativity is a powerful God-given gift – but it’s also an amazing tool. That’s why the best creative writers, directors, and producers know how to embrace techniques that create powerful advertising, massive film releases, and win international awards.
Be wildly creative. But unless your work impacts an audience, you’ll fail.
Simple as that.