Always Saying “Yes” and Never “No” to Creativity
Yes or no? Every single day, we are presented with these two monumental choices in the face of every decision we make.
Do you want fries with that? Yes. Do you want to sign up for our credit card scam? No. Do you want to go to that Céline Dion concert and passionately shout out the lyrics to “My Heart Will Go On”? No! (Yes.)
In the business of creativity, however, we are faced with a different set of yeses and nos. In fact, “no” shouldn’t even exist in our world.
Always “Yes” and Never “No”?
You heard me right.
You’re probably asking yourself, How in the world can you not say no to anything — especially if it’s a bad idea?
Although always saying yes might be a strange concept to many, it’s the catalyst to our entire operation as writers, designers, and digital strategists.
Communication and openness to new ideas are the first steps to everything we could possibly create at work. According to Herd Wisdom and Gallup, 20 million Americans feel so disengaged at their jobs that they feel like they are slowing the company down. In this same study, 33% said a lack of open and honest feedback was the main contributor to a loss of employee morale.
If you think about it, every noteworthy idea had to be green-lighted at some point in time. From the lightbulb to the iPod, every creative mind has had to address the all-important question: Should I go for this? That question can provoke self-deprecating thoughts in even the most confident of us.
But in a digital marketing firm — a place where calculating business decisions meet artistic liberty — it is crucial that the answer to that question is always yes and never no.
This doesn’t mean you should expect that your idea for emoji license plates is going to be approved the moment you suggest it. A bad idea is still a bad idea.
The power of always saying yes to something is intended to be applied not to the decisions we make as a firm, but rather to the permission we give ourselves as creatives. Your creative team should always be given permission to take risks.
This is the philosophy our creative director, John Nelson, encourages in nearly every weekly creative team meeting we hold. Knowing we have this freedom to express our ideas helps us differentiate the work we do in the auto industry.
Taking the Leap
Without risk, there is no reward.
It’s a painful cliché, but it serves as a reminder that it’s okay to screw up. It’s okay to be afraid that you’ll just be wasting your time on a project that probably won’t be approved. It’s okay to chase something when you have no idea where it will lead you. That’s risk.
A creative needs risk as badly as a project manager needs structure, and as a creative team, you must always be aware of this. If you want to get the most out of a teammate, encourage them to grow in the way they want to grow.
Will there still be bad ideas? Absolutely. There are thousands of paths that will lead you to a bad idea. But allowing yourself and others to take a creative risk is the only possible path to an idea that is truly great.
Calling for Creativity
If you want a creative team that lets you take the risk you need, there’s no better place for you than 9 Clouds.
Read up on what we expect out of our creative content specialists, and consider being a part of the creative inbound process either now or sometime down the road. It’s a team that is hard to say no to!