I have worked in creative teams for many years now… and have enjoyed most of my experiences. The strength of a team to compose a talk for the weekend, the service flow, or creative elements, is that many sets of eyes and many creative minds can synergistically create what no single person ever could (no matter how talented)!
But for a creative team to really function well together there are a few non-negotiables that everyone must agree to:
- No territory. No team member can feel protective, defensive, or proprieatry about any area or idea. No one owns the intellectual or creative property of the team!
- It’s not personal. When a team member begins to take criticism of an idea as criticism of them, the team breaks down. Egos have to be left at the door… all ideas are up for discussion so that the team product can be that much better. No pouting, no defensive remarks… leave it all at the door!
- Do your homework. Each team member needs to have an idea of the agenda and direction of the meeting so they can come prepared with ideas. Otherwise, it can take a good chunk of time getting everyone geared up to the content and direction – valuable time wasted! If you lead the creative team, make sure your people know what they are coming to work on, and make sure they have taken the time to prepare their own hearts and mind for the meeting.
- Have white space. A huge white board. A wall to write on. Lots of big paper… something where you can write down every idea that comes up. Don’t get cramped by lack of white space!
- Followup. Send out a mindmap, a pages document… something to the team summarizing what was accomplished, what was decided, and what remains undone. This confirms progress and builds team unity and cohesion.