I came across this webpage by Jason Theodor, a Creative Director/Speaker/Consultant who specializes in ideation and problem solving for online brands and individuals. Lots of the things on this list sound very familiar to my previous communication and marketing roles and are the sort of things I imagined a creative director would do. I like the idea of working in this type of role and I think I’d be good at it, but it seems I’ll have little bit of leg work to do first from the diagram below.
I read a discouraging comment today, where someone questioned the value a Creative Director brings to a team. This got me thinking.
Here is an incomplete, imperfect list of what I do, and what many Creative Directors do:
A Creative Director is the facilitator of ideas. This doesn’t mean they come up with all of them. This means they help create an environment where great ideas can happen.
A Creative Director is an open mind and an open door. They need to listen: to ideas, and to the people in their charge.
A Creative Director plays offense and defence for the creative department. They defend good ideas. They defend good people. And they go out into the rest of the company and push to get their people recognized, rewarded, and understood.
A Creative Director keeps the politics at arms length from his or her department. A lot goes on in a company. Some people are not in management for a reason, and they need to be shielded from some of the company stress so they can focus on their work.
A Creative Director keeps the ideas on target. They should know how an idea needs to be expressed to successfully meet client’s expectations.
A Creative Director makes clients feel more comfortable to be taken out of their comfort zones.
A Creative Director is encouraging and nourishing (they make a nice light snack). Be constructive. But allow for growth.
A Creative Director can always sell what they believe in, and they believe in good, solid ideas.
A Creative Director does not need to be in every meeting. A Creative Director does not need to present every idea. He or she should let other people have the spotlight when appropriate.
A Creative Director can see the long term view and the short term benefits of an idea.
A Creative Director believes in an effectively realized idea.
A Creative Director is the judge, jury, and executioner of ideas. This means that the creative buck stops with them. If they don’t believe in an idea, it won’t happen. Or at the very least, it won’t happen well.
Do you think Creative Directors add value to your company? If you have anything to add, or would just like to argue, please leave your comments below.