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Creative Start-up, Part 7: Sell The Work, Not The Process

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In-House Business Startup Journal Part 7
Any in-house creative services leader knows that process is important. From how clients initiate new projects, to how the team gets work done. It’s a very important way to manage workflow, effectiveness, productivity, and frankly…order. If we have done our jobs well, things run smoothly for the most part. Clients are happy, designers are engaged and creative, things are good.
Often a creative manager finds that processes need to be improved – or created in the first place – in order to get things running in an optimal state. But developing the new process is only half the battle. You have to sell it to other leaders to get buy-in, and educate colleagues and clients on how things now work. The education of clients can sometimes be painful for those less-willing to embrace change, so it can take months of hard work to keep the train from derailing off the tracks you have set.
There will come a point in time however when the hard-sell of the process needs to give way to the soft-sell, by proving the that the process you put in place works better than how things used to be. You’ll be able to prove the new processes work when you can demonstrate the results. I’m talking, of course, about showing off the creative work of your team.
We all desire for our in-house teams to be seen seen as the go-to creative resources, and creative experts, within the company. The best way to do that isn’t going to be showing how the work gets done, but rather the work itself. Creative leaders need to find the right opportunities to show how their teams are solving creative problems, and contributing to the corporate strategy.
Show off a recent piece of high-quality work in your leadership meeting. Participate in another department’s staff meeting and bring samples of completed projects. Build a portfolio website or capabilities brochure and drive traffic to the site. These are a few things you can do to show off he value of your team.
I’d like to hear what you do to prove the worth of your team. How do you you show off?
I will be introducing the legendary Paula Scher at the InSource premier event: An Evening With Paula Scher, Perspectives on the relationships between in-house and outside creative agencies. Tuesday, October 23, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM at the School of Visual Arts Beatrice Theatre. Register before October 1 to get the earlybird discount price!

Written by Andy Brenits

Andy Brenits is Principal of Brenits Creative, and President of the Board of Directors of InSource. An experienced mentor and teacher, Andy has taught undergraduate and graduate classes at Pratt Institute, Rowan University, The Art Institute of Phoenix,, and most recently at Columbia University. When he isn’t proactively managing his to-do list, he’s busy cooking and taking photographs of his cactus flowers and family.

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