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

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Old 04 April 2013   #46
Nikola Teslas life story should show what it's like to be a Discoverer in a world fueled by material wealth and gain.

Their is an extremely small population of true creative people in existence.

Some of the most notable 'creative' people in our past were quite strange with quirks of their own, even suffering with the 'divine madness'.

To deal with the likes of such a person I would imagine would be quite odd for a wealthy backer as to fall into taking a risk that may not pay off because 1) you think the person your dealing with is a complete cook and 2) the culture shock may be too heavy to accept because it can completely change our way of life.

that's where we 'artists' come into the picture.
We publish illusions that make it easier for people to possibly accept such radical changes.
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Last edited by RoundRobbin : 04 April 2013 at 09:15 PM.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #47
Originally Posted by Artbot: You are missing the point. It's not that people are "taking it personally." It's that the "information" being put forth by a supposedly reputable author to an entire industry, or multiple industries, is so ignorant and shortsighted. It's not about being offended, if about spreading abhorrent information from a position of authority to people who may not know any better.
I see it as people taking it personal, for the simple reason that I usually ignore names, titles, studios, or supposedly reputable authors. No matter where someone works, or how famous he is, etc.
It gives me the impression that it's not only about the article, but the industry that is kind of sensible in general.

Abhorrent information, is exaggerating, it's just badly written and bad use of words.
Otherwise people simply disagree with some points and then ignore it. But that's not what I see.. They have taken the words literally.
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Old 04 April 2013   #48
Originally Posted by Ruramuq: Abhorrent information, is exaggerating, it's just badly written and bad use of words.
Otherwise people simply disagree with some points and then ignore it. But that's not what I see.. They have taken the words literally.

It's hard judging if it's literal or not, but it's his task making it clear to the reader. It's his profession.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #49
Originally Posted by PhilipeaNguyen: This is the reason why more of us should develop and own our own IP then hire the jokers like this one to manage the books. Then we could write obnoxious articles like "7 ways to manage overprivileged ivy league educated business organizers/accountants." At the end of the day the only reason they are in power is because too many of us are too afraid to commit to learning the business end.


That's very true.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #50
Originally Posted by redbellpeppers: That's very true.


I don't really know

We are all a bunch of small businesses exchanging goods for currency anyway. Whether you are a single person business earning a wage or a multiperson business trading in a more sophisticated way is mostly academic. Starting your own business usually means you are exchanging your current set of frustrations for a new set of frustrations.

The jury is out on whether or not it is better to go from being in the single person labour business versus multiperson labour business.

Most businesses fail within 5 years of startup. Most business owners really just end with the equivalent of buying their own jobs. Most business owners get transformed by their business -- if you survive you become the person in the article, if not you become a consultant or union member.

The only thing that I have seen make a difference is eff you money.

You can either afford to walk away or you cannot.

I say give it a go and see where the adventure leads. I just don't think starting your own business is necessarily better than being a single person business.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #51
Originally Posted by mister3d: It seems it says underpay them. If money is not motivation, put them in a situation where they need it to survive.
Overpaying is paying more than average. Nowhere it says pay them equally, but not overpay. It clearly says "pay less" (than others).


This PhD obviously never heard of the phrase: "You get what you pay for."
Even if you can get results out of someone in the way he describes.... you only set yourself up to lose said brilliant creative when someone offers them more money.

Unsustainable advice = bad advice.
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Old 04 April 2013   #52
Originally Posted by Crotalis: There's nothing wrong with making sweeping generalizations when they are easily proven. People think differently, very differently. I don't mean their opinions and how they feel about something I mean their core thought processes. How they come to decisions.

These sentences completely contradict each other.

Sorry, yeah that didn't make much sense if you didn't know what I was talking about. Allow me to try again.

I am not referring to how a person feels about a certain issue or an opinion about a subject.
I am referring to the way a persons brain processes information automatically before your active thinking engages.

While trying to understand my kids better I delved into tons of research and have worked with dozens of doctors over the last decade to try and decode autism as best as possible. This eventually lead to Temple Grandin and introduced me to the concept of the visual thinker or as she refers to it thinking in pictures. While reading I'm getting confused because when she describes thinking in pictures I say to myself, "Well of course, how else would you think?" This is when I discovered that there are a number of ways that people's brains operate. You have the numerical thinker, the list thinker and a few others. But it is the visual thinker that is identified in this article as the "creative" type. Now there are hybrids, people that operate in more than one. I'm mostly visual but a bit in the numerical side as well.

So what is the "creative" type anyway. This would be the person that can see an assembly line and visualize in their head where the problems or inefficiencies are and come up with a better solution. So no, it's not specifically talking about artists but people that can take what they are given and improve it. Back to the article, if a managers style is such that he/she doesn't allow for creative thinking then the company could miss out on a bored assembly line worker who sees huge places for improvement. You know, because its not their place to say so.

This helped me tremendously when I was teaching. Going in, I assumed I could teach anyone how to troubleshoot, or code. After all, I could do it so it must not be that hard. Well, the harsh reality was not everyone has that ability. Once I identified that, I altered my teaching style by the student instead of trying to teach them like I thought.

I'll tell you why I don't care for the article (other than the tragic wording). It's because it points out my flaws. Take number 3 for example.

"They see the bigger picture and are able to understand why things matter (even if they cannot explain it). The downside to this is that they simply won't engage in meaningless work."
When my team tackles a problem, something complex like a new server farm, my brain usually kicks into gear and finds all the patterns and I work out pretty quickly the scope and goals and blah blah blah. Well that's the easy part. Now trying to explain what I came up with in maybe 5 minutes could take an hour. And then comes putting the pencil to paper and actually writing out the plan and documentation and uugggghhhhhhhhh. I hate that "meaningless work". Well obviously its not meaningless if we're going to work as a team.

So as the manager, do you come down on a guy for not getting his timesheets (TPS reports) in on time. Or do you cut him some slack because you know that's not his strong suit. "But what about the employee manual". "Ah stuff it!" Honestly, I'd like to see more managers with understanding of this concept because it would make my life a lot easier.

And pay me more!
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Old 04 April 2013   #53
I wonder if people on here would be giving this article a second thought were it not for the Rhythm & Hues and other recent VFX industry calamities.
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Old 04 April 2013   #54
Let's be honest - if some of us 'creative types' would write an article about who to best deal with those 'business types' there's a high chance it would be just as full of generalisations and prejudices - just the other way round.
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Old 04 April 2013   #55
I wonder if this is showing up a US cultural thing in middle management issue?

In the UK there is certainly a class system of the old boys network (your Oxbridge types), especially in politics and CEO positions. But we usually are less blatant and try to hide attitudes.

I also wonder if this or similar article could ever be published in places like Japan, where cultural differences are so different to ours?

What about emerging countries such as China and India? Do they have less management BS speak?

Jules
 
Old 04 April 2013   #56
I don't know about you all, but as a creative, I can't 'turn it off'. When I'm engaged on a project and I go home at night, I rarely stop thinking about the project itself. I'm still very much working, though I might not be sitting at the office, pushing my mouse around. My brain just doesn't let the 'creative switch' turn off when a clock gets to a certain spot during the day. Creative types aren't 9-5 types.

Because of this, my employers or clients are already getting the majority of my focus for the majority of my waking hours...

And this Dr. Asshat wants them to pay me less? I should get a 30% raise for all of the mental gymnastics that I'm doing outside of their dictated work hours!
 
Old 04 April 2013   #57
Originally Posted by Pixanaut: ... but as a creative ...


According to WHAT criteria do you think you are "A CREATIVE"?

Just how is what you do any more creative than what an accountant or janitor do?

I can honestly tell you, that I have NEVER met a 'creative' person, mostly becuase, as far as I can tell, everyone is creative. You can look at a line cook and say, they are not chefs therefore they are not creative. However, this is simply not the case. They may not care, they may not have the opportunity to go to a proper chefs school nor the mentality of a psychopath to follow the career path required to become a great chef, but saying they are not creative is ridiculous.

And it gets worse, how do you measure creativity in a mathematician versus a portrait artist?

Could one reason (beyond, say, obssesive compulsive disorder or other variables) be that you simply have a job you really like and work on projects that let you obsess over them?

It never occurred to me, but perhaps, not only is the author not knowledgeable in animal behaviour research, he is wrong about the particular labels he puts on his staff.

The article is starting to look worse and worse.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #58
Originally Posted by Pixanaut: I don't know about you all, but as a creative, I can't 'turn it off'. When I'm engaged on a project and I go home at night, I rarely stop thinking about the project itself. I'm still very much working, though I might not be sitting at the office, pushing my mouse around. My brain just doesn't let the 'creative switch' turn off when a clock gets to a certain spot during the day. Creative types aren't 9-5 types.

Exactly, the brain never shuts off. If I'm going to bed at 2 or 3 in the morning give me a break on the early morning hours.

Originally Posted by mr.bean: And it gets worse, how do you measure creativity in a mathematician versus a portrait artist?

This is the biggest problem with the article. There is an immediate perception by everyone who reads it that he is talking about artists and other creative types. But the article is mostly referring to innovators. The wording is terrifically busted.
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Old 04 April 2013   #59
Originally Posted by mr.bean: According to WHAT criteria do you think you are "A CREATIVE"?

Are you asking about me, personally? I'm a creative because I am continually writing screenplays and articles and building 3D objects, and all of which are directed by what I decide should be they should be. They are my stories, my opinions, and my designs. In my position, I have to be creative.

Originally Posted by mr.bean: Just how is what you do any more creative than what an accountant or janitor do?

Does a janitor spent his nights trying to sleep but having his brain keep him awake because he realized a better way to mop a floor? If so, he might be a creative, but in his position, he doesn't have to be creative. He can just go to work and mop the floor. It's the same with accountants... yes there is some creativity in accounting (hell, Hollywood accountants are the most creative that I've ever seen!), but neither of these jobs are creating something from nothing.

Originally Posted by mr.bean: I can honestly tell you, that I have NEVER met a 'creative' person, mostly becuase, as far as I can tell, everyone is creative.

Sure, everyone can 'be creative', but not everyone is 'a creative'. For someone who is 'a creative', the act of creating is fuel. It's the reason that we struggle to sleep sometimes or the reason that we take out lunches when our projects let us - because we're in the middle of a creative flow. When we do take lunch, that flow hasn't stopped, it just slows enough to let us eat. It's the reason that there is a sketchpad or notebook on the nightstand - so that if we have a flash of something that we want to retain, it gets documented to explore further the next day (a process that I find lets my mind relax and finally lets me get to sleep).

Do accountants, janitors and line cooks do that? Perhaps. And perhaps each is 'a creative', but isn't in a job that nurtures them as creatives as much as what we do for a living. Perhaps they are in careers that are underutilizing their natural gifts. Perhaps if they were given the freedom to truly be 'creatives' instead of 9-5 drones, we would have no cancer, cold fusion, a cleaner planet, manned space exploration beyond the moon, etc...



Originally Posted by mr.bean: And it gets worse, how do you measure creativity in a mathematician versus a portrait artist?

Again, IMHO it's the difference between being creative and being 'a creative'. Anyone can be creative in whatever their doing, but it doesn't make them 'a creative'.
Originally Posted by mr.bean: Could one reason (beyond, say, obssesive compulsive disorder or other variables) be that you simply have a job you really like and work on projects that let you obsess over them?

It's possible. I currently do things that allow me to make my own schedule and choose my own projects. It's liberating in a way, but it also keeps me sane. As far as obsessing, I don't think anybody 'chooses to obsess' over anything. It just happens.
Originally Posted by mr.bean: It never occurred to me, but perhaps, not only is the author not knowledgeable in animal behaviour research, he is wrong about the particular labels he puts on his staff.

The article is starting to look worse and worse.


Absolutely. I'm embarrassed for him. He's someone who clearly doesn't understand creativity or the creative drive within creative people. In my opinion, most creatives don't need 'managing' as much as they need to be reminded occasionally that the project has a deadline to keep them on point and avoid 'scope creep'. Outside of that, management should just get out of their way.

I remember one in-house job that I did where the office was run by non-creatives. The creatives (the ones actually producing the content) had a little flexibility in their hours, but coming from the way I work, their output was FAR less than what the potential of that team could have been producing. At one point, I was handed a difficult project that a team at a sister company had worked on for 8 months and totally pooched the job. I had 2 months to redo the whole project. I told management that I wasn't willing to take it on unless I was able to work the way that I work best, to maximize the chances of success. I was given the freedom to direct myself, my schedule, other team members when they were available (an afternoon here and there), etc... I had weekly meetings where I kept management apprised of the progress and in 2 months, the job was done.

The point of all that is that if you are 'a creative', your peak productivity times don't necessarily come during office hours. If you can harness them when they do come, you can get far more accomplished. People who 'manage' need to realize that and be open to counter-intuitive thinking sometimes, if it potentially means increased productivity.

Last edited by Pixanaut : 04 April 2013 at 09:10 PM.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #60
When I saw the article the first thing that came to mind was something I read in a BBC story a while back about the link between creativity and mental illness, especially this part:

'He said businesses have already recognised and capitalised on this knowledge.

Some companies have "skunk works" - secure, secret laboratories for their highly creative staff where they can freely experiment without disrupting the daily business.'
 
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