So you’re a design, marketing, development or creative agency who is proud of offering creative services to your clients. Great! Now how do you apply creativity and innovation to your agency?
If you are reading this looking perplexed, grab a coffee and pencil out 2 minutes from your diary because you need to read on.
As an agency owner, it’s important to foster innovation and creativity internally as part of your everyday, not just when it gets hard. So in this blog, we run through the importance of creativity and innovation as part of your agency.
In its most basic terms, innovation is the development and implementation of something new. This could be a new product, service offering, or even an internal process. However, innovation isn’t just about thinking of a new idea and rolling it out.
Great innovations follow a creative process. There are a whole host of models out there that you can follow, such as the design diamond. But for a quick introduction to innovation, here are 4 stages of a simple but effective creative process:
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Now you have the stages of a creative process, you would be forgiven for thinking that all your innovating is done. Well, that’s not the case. Innovation should be fostered within any agency to ensure that you’re always growing as a team and finding new ways to engage with your industry’s ever-changing landscape.
One way to incorporate innovation in your agency’s everyday life is to create a conducive workspace. By this we mean make sure there is space in your diary and working processes where ideas are free to be heard.
All your team members should feel like they can “shout up” ideas and know they’ll be heard and considered, even if they instinctively feel like a bad idea. You want your team to feel comfortable coming forward with suggestions, and make sure they know that you value everyone’s understanding of the business and its potential.
Another way to foster innovation is to incorporate elements in your office or day to day working is to create opportunities to stimulate creativity. This could come in the form of a brain stimulating game at the start of your daily stand-ups or an ongoing, regular innovation meetings with the team.
Whilst these two are easy to roll out suggestions, here’s a few ways in which you can foster innovation in your agency:
When fostering innovation and creativity as an agency, there can be a fear of the unknown or even failure. Avoiding change, however, is at the cost of innovation. So it’s important to keep in mind that though creative thinking can be daunting, it’s a key part of having a growth mindset.
A growth mindset is defined by thriving on challenges, seeing failure as a point for growth, and embracing ideas from those around you. Therefore, alongside taking the benefits of insight from failure, it’s important to share and cultivate this mindset with your team. As a leader, its your responsibility to define a culture for continuous learning and improvement. A space where ideas are not just welcomed, but encouraged leading to growing innovation.
When you’re growing your agency, you’re often also busy too. When you’re trying to balance life and a growing business, adding an extra layer of work (the creative process) can feel like an additional plate to spin. But what if it came naturally?
Whether you like to read a few pages before bed, listen to a podcast while walking the dog, or finding a new networking group to spare ideas with outside of your team, here are our must-reads, listens and attends:
Now that you’re fostering creativity, it’s important you foster that in your team too. Innovative teams require strong leaders who not support, but empower their creative team members. So when hiring or promoting team members, focus on those who share your growth mindset and encourage it in those who are keen to grow.
One of the tried and tested ways of nurturing creative talent in house is often the most obvious (but overlooked): providing autonomy and ownership. Team members who have the ability to freely express their ideas and even trial them independently are more likely to feel valued, and nurture their own growth-empowering ideas.
Lastly, recognising and rewarding creative talent is essential. An agency in a period of growth needs to retain good talent, therefore, rewarding, mentoring and promoting team members who share your growth mindset and are fully embraced in the creative process will help you (and your agency) innovate and achieve your growth goals.
Agencies can’t escape innovation. It allows smaller agencies to grow, and bigger agencies to thrive when the marketplace gets tough. Whether you’re fostering innovation internally, nurturing talent, or just looking for inspiration, it’s integral that creative thinking and innovation are at the core of your strategy. With this, you’ll have a well-rounded growth mindset that delivers tangible results.
👋 The Insites Team
25th March 2022
03rd October 2019