How to Effectively Manage a Team of Creative Professionals

Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

The concept of managing creative professionals is slightly contradictory in itself. The world of ideas, expression, non-conformity and innovation has very little room for structure, processes, and control. However, project management is becoming all-important in creative spheres.

After all, you want the team to create great work and not get in frivolous issues that waste time and creative energy. Here are some tips on managing creative teams effectively.

Don’t Be the Micro-Manger

No one likes to be bossed around and creative people especially hate it. They also don’t like to be told what to do every step of the way. You need to act like a coach and give suggestions that focus on improving work or performance through creative challenges.

Creative professionals are goal-oriented and love challenges. So, encourage them to solve creative challenges using their creativity and determination. Offer them the guidance they need instead of giving them orders to follow.

Development Opportunities Come in Different Forms

You should not overlook ongoing development when managing a team ( of creative professionals. There is difference between training and learning. Training is a structured process like a class, course, or a webinar where a person is taught particular skills to do a job.

On the other hand, learning is something that can also happen while doing something new. Challenge creativity in them by giving them a task they have never done before and give them an opportunity to learn something new.

Understand Individual Skills

Managing a team of creative professionals requires you to have an understanding of individual skills. It would be nice to pinpoint on individual’s talents early in the process to ensure optimal efficiency while working on the project.

You can spark a degree of competition amongst creative professionals that will lead to creating a low-pressure situation which works best to trigger innovative ideas. Identify and leverage strengths of each creative member of the team and hone their talents to benefit the project.

Get Mutual Agreement on the Goals of the Project

When managing creative work like design or video projects, there is no correct formula for the perfect piece. Most of the time, it is subject to personal taste. Keeping this in mind, you need to agree and establish goals of the project beforehand to ensure creative professionals are not lost on the way.

The goals should be discussed with every creative professional involved in the project as creative direction has personal attributes and differ with each person. By getting everyone to agree on the goals of the project, you can prevent clashes of creativity that can affect the project.


Lack of trust is a barrier in the performance of a team. Having shared values and building trust is critical for the success of the team.  The team members need to feel reassured that you are looking out for their interests.

While you work hard to gain their trust, you also need to trust them with their work. Remember you hired them because they are talented. Let them do their job their own way. The success of good managers depends on how much they trust their team regarding their capabilities and they earn trust as a leader. Managers who inspire trust have a team with higher morale, innovation, and loyalty.

Motivate Them

It is not always that your team is as motivated as you are.  You need to learn what motivates your team and allow them to act or work in a way that motivates them.

Create an environment where your team members actively try to solve problems without being asked to. Encourage them to develop a mindset where they expend energy to solve problems to make the product/service the best it can be.

Interact with Your Team More Often

Maintaining strong communication channel is essential to ensure there is no room for misunderstanding of any kind. Your team needs to exactly know what needs to be done and by when.  You need to communicate and regroup without wasting time if anything goes wrong. This is possible only when you interact with your team more often as you cannot predict all problems beforehand.

The tips given above will help you manage your team of creative professionals effectively and ensure their creative work delights everybody.

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