CREATIVITY: “Money Can’t Buy Me Love”

If you want real creativity – the magic ingredient X that sets the product apart – you need to inspire it, by showing them what makes the work fascinating, challenging, meaningful, and fun. And you need to give them freedom to do it their way, rather than micro-managing every step”.

How many times have I been in this situation, having been a creative hire for, well, a pretty darn long time in a volatile business that involved actors, directors, producers, and other crusty characters.   Everyone was always talking about money, rarely did I encounter creative vision.  ‘How much will that idea cost me?’ was the usual line.  No problem, you want an entire marching band dressed complete with instruments by 4 pm on Tuesday next, that will cost you….etc. etc. And yes, that’s how it goes in film and television production.  A clever girl can usually deliver amazing screen candy for less than the quote.  That’s the name of the game in Television and with the rise of the ‘product placement’ advertising in the last decade, that promise is even easier.  Now, to the main question:  This really applies to all creatives and all the arena’s in which one has to pay them.  “How much will this big idea cost me?” and the other favorite…’They better be creative I pay them enough!’ Often heard from agencies, studios, and other places that hire “creatives” to generate the Big Idea. I used to watch in awe as our production teams would read a script on Monday and shoot a complete production by Friday at 5 pm complete with a live audience. It happens almost every week in Hollywood. I know, because I was there, doing it.  It didn’t ever occur to me “not” to solve a creative problem, you just had to do it or die trying by 5 pm on Friday. 

Creativity and its ‘essence’ is an intangible  yet the solution to a problem is usually based on Creative Thinking that could be characterized as very tangible.  The “spark” is essential to creatives in order for the next phase of this process to become a solution. 

With the rise of the “creative class” there are many managers who simply don’t know how to “inspire” these teams of people who need other things besides “money” to motivate them.  That’s the basic idea, here and there are many new studies that show that even the “IT” guy likes to feel creative in solving his technical problems for the large organization he works for.  We can say that the CREATIVE spark comes not from that “designer square cubicle”or that really “wacky office”space you decorate yourself, its a variety of aspects that combine themselves into a value system for motivating this unique individual.

We’ll share more about this in our next chapter, on ways to inspire your creative team to “feel motivated” in a “Ideas for Hire” environment because we’ve not only lived it, we’re practicing it every day, while we’re sleeping.

The Editor and Creative Curator

Our thanks to:   Mark McGuinness is a coach and trainer who helps companies retain their creative edge at Wishful Thinking