One of the challenges for a manager in a creative profession is how to turn the creative energy of the designers into profitable energy for the company. Creativity and productivity are frequently seen as opposing forces, therefore trying to simultaneously nurture both the innovation and the efficiency of a creative design team can become a frustrating balancing act for managers of these organisations.
This research demonstrates how the performance of creative people can be aligned to the commercial goals of a design organisation, and that the perceived clash between creativity and productivity is a result of an incompatibility between the creative style of the company and the management techniques being employed. Executives and employees from fifteen organisations of varying levels of success and creativity, across a spectrum of creative design professions, were interviewed regarding how they accommodate a range of productivity and creativity indicators. In analysing the findings qualitatively, it was discovered that rather than one fixed answer to this question, a range of management techniques are applied and many different creative styles are employed.
The research findings show that identifying the creative style of the organisation and the appropriate management technique to match is critical in overcoming this perceived paradox. It provides a diagnostic tool for the creative design organisation to enable them to establish where they are on a spectrum of creativity, or decide where they want to be strategically, and then either adapt or adopt an appropriate management technique to complement rather than constrain their creative style.