We are living in a golden age of creativity. Creative teams need to adapt to new processes and technologies to fully embrace new opportunities.
The only thing certain in the creative world is change. Every day brings a new design tool, a different medium, new specs, different rules. As we saw at Adobe MAX this year, that change can be positive as new technologies make it easier to create and make creativity more accessible for everyone. The theme of Adobe MAX this year was “The Next Generation of Creativity”. Sessions and keynotes focused on how creativity is experiencing a golden age: rapidly evolving technology makes it easier to create, and our business partners are beginning to really understand the value of creative work.
As wonderful as these changes are for the creative team, they do bring about new challenges, specifically around the creative process and keeping your team trained on the newest technologies.
Creative Process Updates
To accommodate increasing demand for content, creative teams are having to rethink their workflows. Just a few years ago no one on the creative side was talking much about workflows or project management. That was the domain of IT and development teams. IT or Operations departments controlled what project management and workflow software were used in the organization and gave little thought to the specific workflow needs of creative teams.
Traditionally, creative teams have used a Waterfall workflow that was very linear. Each step depended on the prior step being completed first, and if there were any holdups in the process, the entire project was stalled.
For many in-house agency teams, those days are gone. Creative teams are rethinking their workflows in order to keep up with demand, and teams are beginning to bring on more specialized creative talents in areas such as 3D, UX/UI, video, and animation, to name a few.
To keep up, many teams are now turning away from traditional waterfall approaches and towards a more agile approach. With an agile approach, teams can drastically shorten project duration by working on separate parts of the project simultaneously. As part of an agile creative workflow, creative teams are fully briefed on the project and how it fits into the organization’s strategic objectives, so that art and copy can work simultaneously and still be in sync. However, to keep an agile workflow organized and prevent chaos, creative teams need a creative workflow management software.
Creative Ways to Train Your Team
One of the most exciting things about this “Golden Age of Creativity” is the rapid development of new technologies that make creating more intuitive. However, in order for creative teams to leverage these technologies, they need to learn them. But who has time for training? In order to keep your team functioning at full speed, it may be time to get creative with your training options as well.
Traditionally, creative management would send team members to two-day, three-day, even week-long offsite training programs, which is awesome if you can spare the time. But, if like many teams, those intensive training programs are not an option, consider some alternatives that may be more accessible:
- Bring the expert to your team with an onsite training. This saves travel costs for your team, and by booking 2 half-day sessions your team can still be available for half the day in the office.
- Host a “Lunch and Learn” in your office where team members can share their knowledge and train each other.
- Reach out to organizations like IHAF (In House Agency Forum) that offer online training resources for members.
- Look for free online resources like YouTube tutorials or podcasts that can keep your team updated on new technologies and best practices.
- Explore paid subscriptions to online learning platforms like Skillshare or LinkedIn Learning that your team can leverage on an ongoing basis as they need to polish or pick up new skills.
Embracing the Golden Age
In-house creative teams are experiencing a true golden age. We have more access to better technology than ever before, and our business partners are beginning to understand the value of creative work, giving us a whole world of opportunities that we never had access to before. In order for us to take full advantage of this golden age, we have to be smart about adapting our processes to work more efficiently, and we have to make sure our teams are getting the training they need on new tools and technologies to keep up with cutting edge technological advancements.
About the author: Debbie Kennedy is former Head of Advertising Operations with CarMax, and is currently Product Marketing Manager for Capital One, and CEO of Write for You, a Digital Content and Creative Workflow Consulting Firm based in Richmond, Virginia. She’s been a power user and advocate of inMotionNow since 2014.