TCG Roadmap: Enhancing Creative Freedom

School Up Your Company

Escape the ‘window-dressing’ mindset

Glenn Arnowitz, director of corporate graphics at Wyeth, a global pharmaceutical company, says it’s imperative to talk about design as a core business competency, not just window dressing. “You have to recognize and communicate the value you offer and understand the role of design in your company,” Arnowitz says. “Position yourself as a key player by becoming involved with business strategies that your company is pursuing.”

Arnowitz, who also co-founded InSource, an association for in-house creatives devoted to enhancing the value of design within corporate environments, notes that soft skills, such as versatility and the ability to communicate effectively, are critical, too. “You have to be flexible enough to interact with everyone from the loading dock to the executive tower,” he says.

Educate and enlighten

Part of the reason for tight project budgets and warp-speed turnaround times is a lack of knowledge about the creative process. Informing others of your team’s role as it relates to

the “big picture” is crucial in your quest for increased clout. Many non-creatives simply don’t appreciate the rigid brand style guidelines with which you must comply. They might not be aware of the cost of typefaces and original photographs, or realize how much time it takes to produce a 50-page brochure, for example. As one survey respondent said, “Our internal clients have virtually no concept of what actual creativity is. I continuously remind our clients that the computer and the software are merely tools. The creativity resides in the person.”

TCG Roadmap is sponsored by The Creative Group.

4 thoughts on “TCG Roadmap: Enhancing Creative Freedom

  1. Ted

    I have a question. What do you do when you have communicated over and over and over the “creative process”? Something else we can try?? I think we should have non-creatives do it for a day. : )

  2. Andy Epstein

    One tactic you may want to try is to find business management experts who make the same case you’re attempting to make and get their writings in front of your clients and upper management. I hate to admit it, but their credibility may help make the case for you.

    Some business leaders to consider include: Daniel Pink, Malcolm Gladwell, Grant McCracken, Thomas Lockwood, Tim Brown and Roger L. Martin. Go to Amazon and search using the term “design thinking”. You’ll end up with a number of helpful books.