In-house Incites: Beware of the 2 for 1 Position Paradigm


Creative Director

“The Creative Director (CD) understands how to conceive, structure and develop creative and branding strategies and is highly capable and experienced in managing and leading the delivery of compelling, engaging interactive creative and branding experiences. The CD is also responsible for managing the product & performance, people, process, and platform of the group output.”


I recently came across a job posting on LinkedIn that points to, what I believe, is a critical challenge for leaders of creative teams. The first paragraph of the ad is included above.


The role as described in the ad should actually be for two, not one, separate positions – a strategic operational lead and a creative design visionary lead. Each requires a full-time commitment and focus along with very specific skills and aptitudes. To task a single individual with both roles is not positioning that person or the team (or the organization for matter) for success.


The complexity (and the resulting opportunities for both success and failure) of the operational processes and procedures that are the underpinnings of an effective creative workflow demand a manager who intimately understands and appreciates appropriate SOPs, project management best practices and associated tools. Properly structuring and staffing diverse creative teams is equally critical and and challenging.


The creative role is as demanding and deserving of a dedicated individual as that of the operational manager. Defining, designing and then implementing effective corporate and product/services branding across multiple media and for a variety of touchpoints requires a level of expertise very different from what is required for a process management and staffing guru. The day-to-day time commitment to ensuring the branding and creative responsibilities are effectively executed is enough in and of itself, to warrant establishing separate positions.


If you find yourself, even in a moderately sized team, having to take on both sets of responsibilities and expectations, there’s a very real chance you’re being unintentionally set up to fail. Looking for opportunities to separate the two and hire accordingly is an appropriate response that will ensure your and your team’s long-term success.