Making creative expertise a lasting part of your company means more than just hiring a few designers – you have to retain, direct, and promote them. Often, there are two distinct career paths that emerge for creative professionals, each stemming from its own set of motivations, and each demanding its own approach to management.
Distinguishing the two can help you lead creative teams.
- Creative directors are drawn to tasks they’re not explicitly qualified for, and they can also excel at things that aren’t “creative” — coding, marketing strategy, finance, etc. Encourage this curiosity and push them to oversee multiple facets of a creative project.
- Master craftsmen tend to have a narrower focus. They master the tools of their trade and perfect their products, deliberating over every detail. They need a clear way to advance without getting pushed into management. Often, this means defining a new position.
Adapted from “Managing Designers on Two Different Tracks” by Sean Madden.