It doesn’t happen overnight of course, but why shouldn’t developing a creative culture start from day one? I have a strong belief that creating a creative culture doesn’t just happen – it needs to be planned for. Here are our five starting points.
Not a sweatshop: Unfortunately this mentality is tolerated by many agencies. And it means no one likes coming to work, everyone is miserable and the quality of work is affected. We’ve made a conscious decision, demonstrated from the top, that long hours and unrealistic expectations are not the norm.
It’s in our roots: Our 6th employee was tasked with the responsibility of Head of Culture. That’s how important it is. They are responsible for championing the purpose and values that are integral to the True experience. The focus is on ensuring True is a great place to work by developing and implementing company-wide strategies and programs that enhance, evolve and strengthen our culture.
Doing rather than planning: Too many of us have meetings about meetings, and end meetings with lists of follow-up conversations to be had later. But for us, every second counts. We take our laptops into meetings and have a habit of taking on-the-spot action. And as soon as we can, we make like a banana and split.
We’ll pay you to be creative: Of course we pay you a generous salary, but we also fund all team members to pursue creative interests. Every month we give everyone an allowance to spend on anything that stimulates their creativity – new books, tickets to a gig or museum or even singing lessons!
Cerebral congestion: There is loads of research on how naps, meditation, walking and other mental breaks encourage creativity. That’s why we encourage staff to turn their attention away from the outside world toward their own minds This means different things to different people. For some, stepping out to grab a coffee and soaking in the sights and sounds of Soho provides a reprieve. For another, wandering down the road to the National Gallery for an hour or so provides just the right switch in focus to return to the office and crack on with a new brief. We support this and we encourage this.
On that note, I think it’s time to take a cerebral break ...
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