I’m a marketer who works for an advertising agency. Imagine my dismay when I saw the following article in LinkedIn titled, “Why Companies Shouldn’t Hire Creative People“.
My first thought was “You have got to be kidding!” Then, I read the article.
To be honest, I had to read the article several times because it was not clear to me if the author was in support of a company who discourages and eliminates all creativity. Or, if the description of what it is like to work in such a company should be horrifying enough to show he is not in support of such an environment. I suppose that’s because I find it hard to believe that anyone actually believes the following six statements from the article that support an environment without creativity.
1. No more brainstorming – Replaced with ‘quality controlled’ discussions based on metrics and benchmarking.
2. Copy don’t innovate – Far higher percentage chance of success.
3. Dismantle the marketing department – Take it out of its cool office with the trash can basketball hoop and install the staff in the heart of the company.
4. Salespeople stick to the script – You only have to look at the recent misselling of energy in the UK to see the dangers of allowing ‘creative’ selling.
5. No original sales or marketing strategies – If no-one is selling or marketing in a certain way, there’s probably a reason. It’s like someone has done your market research for you. Of course, some new sales and marketing ideas are a roaring success, but do you want to stake your job that yours will be one of the lucky few?
6. Real consequences for failure – Thus sharpening everyone’s minds.
I’ve worked in such places in the past. They were the worst years of my life. I’m thankful my company, DirectiveGroup, supports creativity, that lives alongside metrics, benchmarking, process management, and a lot of other foundational elements of a successful company. I believe this environment is the reason why DirectiveGroup’s clients continue to experience online success that far surpasses the performance of their competitors.
Here’s my opinion on the above six points made by the author.
1. No more brainstorming – Metrics and benchmarking can only take you so far. Although these are definitely important to consider, they only tell part of the picture, the known. Brainstorming is imperative in order to recognize the meaning of the metrics and identify the unknown. Without this aspect, it would be nearly impossible to break the glass ceiling and take a company to the next level.
2. Copy don’t innovate –. Who are you going to copy? Of course, those who have innovated before you. The best anyone who follows this rule of thumb can expect to be is as good as the company they are copying.
3. Dismantle the marketing department – Really? This is the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard. Marketing is the backbone of every organization. Without marketing, it would be nearly impossible for the existence of any business to be known.
4. Salespeople stick to the script – Maybe this would work if every prospect was exactly the same. However, it’s been my experience that even in identical industries, every business is unique and every decision maker is unique. If sales people don’t have the flexibility to hear, understand, and meet the individual needs, wants, fears, concerns or the person they speak to, why not get rid of sales and just hire robots. Oh yeah, using robots might be too creative.
5. No original sales or marketing strategies – Although I will agree that there is a lot to learn from good old fashion marketing concepts, consider this: where would our economy be without all of the ecommerce businesses and the digital era of marketing that has been vital to their growth?
6. Real consequences for failure – Wow! All I have to say about this is I am glad Einstein, Jefferson, or any of the other great minds of the past weren’t afraid to fail. My advice is to be brave enough to fail, but then fail fast and move on to your next amazing and creative idea!
The bottom line is that there is nothing wrong with learning from others, both from successes and failures. However, anyone who has any desire to be more than the status quo will not be afraid to fail. In fact, that person will approach everything they do with creatively and a fail fast mentality. If you are ready to get out of the box, stand apart from your competitors, and break through the glass ceilings, give DirectiveGroup a call. We’ll tell you how we can help you achieve all your performance goals.