What’s the best way to manage creative personalities at work?

Fight with them. Not against them.

That’s how.

These days, we are in serious need of creative firepower. And for all the startup incubators that are popping up everywhere, there still seems like creativity is a scarce resource. For me, creative personalities are passionate people who are not happy with the way things are and that not afraid to stir the pot. And, if your culture’s values are based on combining imagination with execution excellence, you can’t expect creatives to change their ways.

But what do you do if you have a creative friendly culture with immense creative resources like Disney? How do you manage all that creativity?

Fight to satisfy fans, not bosses.

Recently, it looks like Disney is in the business of satisfying bosses and not fans. For a Disney Fanatic, like me, it is sad to see Disney struggling to keep “Creating Magic”. Like other corporate juggernauts, it has become bureaucratic and lifeless. Even if the earnings say otherwise.

Having a creative friendly culture and vast resources doesn’t mean it will always stay that way. When bureaucracy steps in, all inspiration dies because employees fight to satisfy their boss. Maybe Disney should look at its most important acquisition to date, Pixar, for inspiration.

At Pixar, it’s all about satisfying fans. Not bosses.

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