Unleash the Full Potential of your Creative Teams to Gain a Competitive Edge

Creative work is no longer the remit of design, it spans every department, and is instrumental in enabling a successful customer journey. Creatives may no longer have to fight for their seat at the table, but Adobe’s The Future of Creative Experiences research reveals they do have to fight for the time to do what they do best — creating experiences that earn trust, lifetime loyalty with customers, as well as great business outcomes. Often bogged down by administrative work, creatives are spending less than a third (29%) of their time focused on creative work.

But, what does the creative experience look like in our current digital age, and how can businesses unleash the full potential of their creative teams? Our research unearths the insights that creative leaders need in order to overcome the most challenging creative barriers, and help empower their teams to deliver exceptional digital experiences their customers value.

Leadership’s responsibility to unleash full creative potential

The value creatives bring to business is clear: they solve problems, they innovate, they help businesses stay competitive, and their work engenders customer loyalty.

Why then, do creatives spend the majority of their working day on non-creative tasks? According to the research, creatives only spend 29% of their day on creative work often preoccupied by administrative work processes such as project management, managing review/request cycles, meetings, and admin work.

Indeed, our research shows that creative teams face several challenges when it comes to delivering work effectively and efficiently:

  • Not enough time to meet deadlines (32%)
  • Lack of feedback on results from previous creative work (30%)
  • Budget constraints (28%)
  • Lack of feedback on pre-launch/publication work (28%)

The onus is on creative leaders and the c-suite to invest in transforming digital work practices across the organisation, with the ultimate aim of removing barriers to creativity and empowering creative teams to realise their full creative potential.

Give creative teams freedom and flexibility to gain competitive edge

Creatives know how important it is to give the customer a great experience. However, our research shows that, while the majority (95%) of respondents believe their organisation provides great experiences that meet customer expectations, many feel their business is falling short on competitive differentiation – only 22% of creatives feel their digital marketing and branding sets them apart from the competition.

Clearly, creativity is vital to business growth and success, so there exists a significant, untapped opportunity to gain a competitive edge by enabling creative teams to reach their full potential.

And to succeed, creatives value collaboration and require thorough context on their work. When quizzed on the most important factors to consider as their working conditions shift, respondents ranked creative collaboration (44%), managing workflows (38%), and collaboration between teams across numerous locations (37%) as their top priorities.

Work management technology provides creative teams with the context and information that ensures they are aligned to the most important priorities of the company, and gives key stakeholders visibility into what creative teams are accomplishing in real-time.

Creativity can happen anywhere

Most creatives know they don’t need to be restricted to an office environment to flex their creative muscles and deliver outstanding work and, encouragingly, the research shows the rest of the business is now of a similar mindset.

Understandably, the vast majority (85%) of creatives have experienced a change to their working environment during COVID-19 pandemic. Moving forwards, it’s clear the pandemic has generated a mindset shift across the organisation, prompting a more flexible approach to work that looks set to stay.

When asked to describe their current working environment, 31% say they still work from home, 30% work in the office full-time – while the biggest portion of creatives (39%) operate in a hybrid setting (mix of remote and in-office).

Looking further ahead, a third (33%) of creatives expect to return to the office full-time in the near future, while 46% say predict they will operate in a hybrid working environment. However, only 15% say they will be permitted to choose how they work – whether in-office, hybrid, or at home.

Technology can help creative teams succeed

In this digital-first world, the right technologies are critical for creative teams to succeed. Digital technologies – like work management – connect people, processes, data, and technology. They foster a culture of creativity and deliver clear creative processes, which in turn reduce unnecessary noise and processes that hold creative teams back, giving creative teams the breathing space, visibility, and flexibility to do their best work.

This article was originally featured in the Adobe Blog at the following URL: https://blog.adobe.com/en/publish/2022/01/10/unleash-the-full-potential-of-your-creative-teams-to-gain-a-competitive-edge

Do you feel like you give your creative team and creative partners enough freedom?  Do you feel that allowing more freedom gets the best work from creatives?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!