Harvard Business Review's tips for dealing with creative people, and it's appalling

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Old 04 April 2013   #1
Harvard Business Review's tips for dealing with creative people, and it's appalling

Some supposed-PhD at the Harvard Business Review claims to be an expert at dealing with "creative types" and lists his "Seven Rules for Managing Creative People." Not surprisingly, it is insulting, condescending, and arrogant. This is apparently what they are teaching "business types" in colleges these days. Normally commenting on this type of drivel wouldn't be worth the keystrokes, but this is the Harvard Business Review and not Joe Blow's Rant Blog.

Here is a creative's point-for-point response to this.
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Old 04 April 2013   #2
What incredibly abysmal "journalism".
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Old 04 April 2013   #3
Generalizing a discipline accomplishes absolutely nothing.
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Old 04 April 2013   #4
What scares me is that the HBR is not a small time blog.

They are the real deal.
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Old 04 April 2013   #5
And it was written by a man with his doctorate no less. He apparently specializes in "Meta-profiling". There's a link to his site under the blog post. I'm guessing the test says something like "Are you bi-polar, moody and jealous of your ideas? Do you prefer to be told you're great rather than be paid well?" Then of course if you answer "yes" you are clearly creative and if you say "no" you are probably more suited for management. ugh ...

The rebuttal was pretty good though. We should post the link to it in the comments section of the HBR blog ...
 
Old 04 April 2013   #6
Quote: A final caveat: even when you are able to manage your creative employees, it does not mean that you should let them manage others. In fact, natural innovators are rarely gifted with leadership skills. There is a profile for good leaders, and a profile for creative people — and they are rather different. Steve Jobs had better relationships with gadgets than people, and most Google engineers are utterly disinterested in management.


In addition to everything else wrong with this article...

It's just crazy he uses Steve Jobs as an example of someone who couldn't lead. That guy was a bastard sure, but leading is something he did very well. He also was a good judge of character, and left his company in good hands when he couldn't run it anymore.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #7
That guy is the biggest client from hell. Evahh!

Last edited by scrimski : 04 April 2013 at 07:02 PM.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #8
What a tome of realization and self discovery this article has been for me! I finally understand my longing for a regiment but complete lack of attainability due to my easily generalized psychological makeup that I share with all creative people; For example I know I love aged poterhouse (i think, I cant really remember) but I only have ever had it once before... At first I though maybe I cant afford it because I make so little (not that this is a problem, on the contrary it kind of motivates me), then I though maybe it's because I have such a sense of self worth that my ego wont allow me to sample the same thing twice. I even had the idea the lack of creative people around me forced me to come up with my own self deprecating agenda to avoid the things I love in attempts of sparking some despair fueled creative epiphany. Thats not it either though... I finally realized its just because I cant find the right restaurant ever again because I'm too stupid too take the same route I took the first time and always seem to get lost.

Wow how enlightening that was, thanks Dr. Tomas!
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Old 04 April 2013   #9
Here's a pretty cool answer, though it would be worth to quote:
Originally Posted by Krissy: 'Creatives' aren't space aliens. What they do is a job. A skill. A trade like any other trade. Treat them like any other skilled employee. If you have a worker who's being a weird, temperamental baby who you need to tip-toe about, that's not a creative, and that's not a professional either. That's an artsy fartsy person acting out how they think creative people should act and that shouldn't be tolerated in a work place. That's not how work gets done. An actual creative professional does not need to be coddled. They devoted a great deal of time to hone their skill, and will use it appropriately for appropriate pay, like every single skilled person with a job. Speaking as someone who manages both creative and non-creative people successfully, this was like reading absolute drivel. This just presses the ridiculous stereotype of the 'artist' that needs to be in this state of 'starving artist'-dom and can only work when 'inspired.' Ridiculous. A doctor doesn't only administer medical attention when 'inspired' and a creative doesn't only create when 'inspired.' An actual, professional creative person can create at any time because they have the skills to create. That is what they trained in, the ability to create. Like the doctor trained to administer medical care. If you're working with someone who is supposed to be a creative and somehow fits any of this articles descriptions of a creative, you did not hire a professional, you hired a temperamental child.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #10
I don't know what is seen as dismissive or oblivious about his article. If anything, the point-for-point artist response only strengthens the points he makes as it strikes me as just a childish response to being generalized, and childishness is one thing I do find more common in creatives, being one myself.

I'd argue for the creative reader being responsible for putting negativity where there is none.
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Old 04 April 2013   #11
Some of it's not wrong, but there's some serious issues, especially that creative people should be paid less so that the most can be gotten out of them. Plus the sweeping generalizations, that somehow creative people are so much different from everyone else. I don't know about you, but I'm not bipolar and I require a ton of structure-humans aren't even built to crave change so why would creative types be any different? It sounds like someone who really doesn't understand people and they shouldn't be misleading others into treating creative people like that.
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Old 04 April 2013   #12
That reads like an Onion article. Are we sure it's not satire? A procrastinator's April Fools joke, maybe?
 
Old 04 April 2013   #13
Quote: I don't know what is seen as dismissive or oblivious about his article. If anything, the point-for-point artist response only strengthens the points he makes as it strikes me as just a childish response to being generalized, and childishness is one thing I do find more common in creatives, being one myself.

I'd argue for the creative reader being responsible for putting negativity where there is none.


You're joking right? The artist response is a solid piece of actual satire created to make a point. That is very different from an off-the-cuff childish retort.

Also, you seriously see nothing wrong with phrases like "they should be paid less" and "they should be surrounded by semi-boring people"? I shouldn't even have to mention the money thing and pretty much every ad/creative agency in the world appears to disagree on the second point. Also, a truly professional article like this would have started by defining "creative". It did not. Of course then the author would have had to also define "semi-boring" (I'm just going to assume he meant accountants - there - I've just done as much proper "journalism" as this PhD author). Then of course, he switches from "creatives" to "corporate innovators" like that's who he meant to be talking about all along. Of course again, the fact that everything was kept as broad and generalized as possible allowed the author to avoid the need for a properly structured piece.

No, the entire article is dismissive and completely ignorant of how "creatives" actually function in a real world environment. If someone who is supposedly a "creative" themselves cannot see that, well, I feel sorry for them ...
 
Old 04 April 2013   #14
Captain 1980's : Dealing with creative types is easy, you treat em like mushrooms...

Seriously, was the original Harvarsed article meant to be satire? I honestly couldn't tell. But then it's Yale all the way here...
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Old 04 April 2013   #15
Originally Posted by trancerobot: In addition to everything else wrong with this article...

It's just crazy he uses Steve Jobs as an example of someone who couldn't lead. That guy was a bastard sure, but leading is something he did very well. He also was a good judge of character, and left his company in good hands when he couldn't run it anymore.


Not to derail, but personally I think not. While I don't care much about the Map debacle since I already have GPS phone that I use, the wifi issue after 6.0 upgrade and how they handled it later is just sad. Its the kind of thing that can get people fired under Jobs. Understand that ipad only have two version, wifi+mobile and WI-FI ONLY.


EDIT:

And I hate hate hate point 5 of the article.

And point 3 is basic management. There are reasons for Management, Executives, Officers, and Clerks. You do things best done by you, give it to your subordinates others.

And I hate point 6. I hate surprises, especially in working condition.

Last edited by fablefox : 04 April 2013 at 11:42 PM. Reason: more info
 
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