Creativity Amidst Bureaucracy

Contrary to popular belief, creativity can exist in bureaucratic environments. You can see it in the form of brainstorms and “exciting days” in offices across the corporate world. A new idea flourishes, but then it enters a bureaucratic mess that substantially reduces the likelihood of execution.

“Don” (real name protected) had an internship this summer at a social networking startup that shall go nameless. As he explains, “ideas for changes and small improvements would originate in a brainstorm, and then be preserved for a meeting with our design agency. A week later, a meeting with designers would end with a series of questions for the programmers. The programmers (some work on the opposite coast and some work in India), would have to agree on a meeting time with the designers and with the executives. By the time that meeting happened, everyone would need a refresher on the topic, weeks would have passed, and money evaporated.” Painful.To make ideas happen, creative professionals must work in a system that values a bias-to-action and boundary-less collaboration.

  • Brainstorm meetings should include the resources required for execution. If the plan for implementation involves designers, programmers, accountants, lawyers, etc…then they should have representation.
  • Strive to have everyone at the table (physically or metaphorically). It is no wonder that small all-in-house start-ups are especially productive in developing new businesses.
  • For dispersed groups, extra effort must be taken to engage the right resources in a timely manner.

When an idea is brewing, your first action should be to get everyone involved who will actually need to take action to make the idea happen.–

This tip was written by Scott Belsky, Behance Team. Explore more tips, and check out Behance’s guest postings for small businesses trying to make ideas happen, hosted at American Express’ OpenForum.

More insights on: Meetings, Office Dynamics
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