Leading in Creative Businesses

How do you ensure creative interests align with business objectives?

Summary
Transcript

Suzanne Morris, president of Morris Consulting Group, discusses the misalignment of creative and business interests that exists within a lot of companies.

“There's usually a moment in a creative business where the business interest is almost in direct opposition to the creative interest,” explains Suzanne. “Someone thinks that you need to go in a different direction, but that's going to cost more money and that's not part of the budget, as an example. You have to figure out a way for the creative person to meet the business goal without impacting the quality of the product.”

Watch the video to learn more from Suzanne about budgeting and leading in creative businesses.

In many businesses, especially in creative businesses which is really where I've spent most of my time, you find that people are allowed to almost have blinders on as it relates to the business side of the business, so that they can just go off and be creative. But there is a point where even those who are creative have to understand the factors that impact the business, the things that make the business more profitable and those things that make the business less profitable. And in sharing that kind of information with the people who've been on my team, I've always felt like I have helped to empower them to feel part of the business, and that they can help control some of their destiny, and that their destiny isn't necessarily being forced upon them.

There's usually a moment in a creative business where the business interest is almost in direct opposition to the creative interest. Someone thinks that you need to go in a different direction, but that's going to cost more money and that's not part of the budget, as an example. You have to figure out a way for the creative person to meet the business goal without impacting the quality of the product.

You often hear about creative businesses, visual effects studio are a great example, going out of business because they have low-balled their bids in order to get the work, and by the time that particular project is over, they have used so much manpower, so many resources, that they literally can't keep the doors open. There has to be almost a feedback loop where the business side is informing the creating side, the creative side is informing the business side, so that you can at least stay on course well enough to produce the product that you want, the outcome that you want, without also jeopardizing the overall health of the business.

There are usually lots of very heated discussions about how to go about achieving that goal without it costing incrementally much more than you had budgeted. Now there are a lot of times when you can go back to a client as a creative business and say, "Listen, we need to rethink our budget because we now know the following." Having, again, that partnership with whomever your ultimate client is is really important because your client should understand and want you to say in business and not expect that you're giving away the talent for free.

Suzanne Morris

Suzanne Morris is a passionate media executive and strategic advisor. In her consulting practice, Suzanne creates value through business planning, deal execution and operations management. She has demonstrated the ability to develop a...

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