Managing Creative People


Jeffrey Katzenberg recently shared his four top strategies for keeping top creative employees happy and productive at Dreamworks Animation SKG in a short article in Fortune magazine.

As I read his tips, I couldn’t help but think that they apply to not just design and copy creatives, but also tech creatives as well. Each of these tips can work to keep your technology, IT and development teams motivated and productive.

Create a haven.
Artistic people tend to be more vulnerable. From the outset, our hope and our ambition was that we could create a safe place where any ideas are welcome, and failure is okay. We only can succeed when what we do is original.

Tell people a story about themselves.
We’re not firemen climbing into burning buildings. We’re storytellers who are trying to give people a good laugh.

Celebrate often.
When a movie opens, when a DVD comes out, or when awards are won, all of those milestones are celebrated in a big way.

Treat departing employees well.
We try to be generous when someone has an opportunity outside the company, because we usually want them back. It’s more important that there be a red carpet for valued people when they leave than when someone joins.