Evolving a Creative Workplace: Step 4

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So far in this series I’ve discussed how to prepare your team or organization for successful expansion, how to plant the right elements into the mix, and then how to ensure sustainable growth by “watering.”

Adding fertilizer comes next. Think of this step as finding ways to spark excitement, provide motivational guidance, or even remedy a malady.



An example of fertilizing would be how we publicized annual company goals for the first time ever in 2013. When we had fewer employees, everyone instinctively knew where the company was trying to head and what we were striving to achieve. But with more than 25 people, the future vision of the company isn’t a given. We needed to clarify what we were working toward so that everyone felt ownership of the company’s goals. This year, Greg, Tim, and I came up with the goals and we’ve been holding quarterly company-wide assessments of how we’re performing against them. Next year we intend for everyone to be involved in the goal-creating process.

Another example of fertilizing is how we’ve begun asking certain employees to present their successful project work, brown-bag-style, to the rest of the staff. It might be the end product itself, or the way the work was prepared that we deem thought leading and beneficial for the rest of the company to hear about and learn from. It’s also a way to recognize particularly impressive efforts—to remind hard workers that we’re paying attention.

And finally, a garden sometimes needs fertilizer in order to head off a malady. In our case, we try to come up with ways to avoid roadblocks in our work. One example is how leaders in our design group took it upon themselves to set up biweekly design-review meetings. These sessions are only to solve issues—people stop in if they’re stumped by something or simply want to run ideas by their peers to ensure their work is the best it can be. We all respect and appreciate each other’s opinions and experience, so these meetings give everyone a chance to improve client deliverables by harnessing the power of the whole creative group.

Here are some ways you can “add fertilizer” to give your team an extra boost:

  • Take stock of the ways you could inject something motivational into employees’ weekly, monthly or yearly routines.
  • If you’re already discussing future goals, make sure those goals are tangible and realistic (even though they may be a stretch).
  • Ask yourself this: do employees honestly feel that they can contribute to the overall company’s success? If not, make sure they do.
  • Provide outlets for creative exchange and feedback to make sure no one’s working in a vacuum.

Next up: Tilling and experimenting!

Illustration by Ruslan Khaydarov.

Sandy Greene

Sandy Greene

Sandy has been Intuitive Company’s Creative Director since our humble beginnings and is a constant driving force of quality and innovation. Sandy previously was the Interface Design Director for Chase and directed the team responsible for all Chase public marketing and secure banking online experiences. Having graduated in 1989 from Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA and focus on Interaction Design, he’s worked in small to medium sized digital and print agencies in NYC and Philadelphia, from hands-on Designer to Director. In addition to all the accomplishments, few know that Sandy sports a creative past as Art Director for a small independent record label (Bar/None Records in Hoboken), an indie-rock magazine (Big Takeover), and developed an ID Magazine award-winning furniture line (eat your heart out, IKEA). He’s also the proud owner of a car his kids think is cool, especially since acquiring the after-market rims.
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One thought on “Evolving a Creative Workplace: Step 4”

  1. Great post. Keep in mind that too much soil moisture is as bad for any plant as too little. With that low soil organic matter your clay will tend to stay too wet.

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