And the Best Teacher Is… FAILURE
Making the Most of Mistakes
Creative marketing professionals have high standards. We are often perfectionists and our own worst critics. Ad agencies and internal marketing teams yearn for that big victory when a campaign rises to the level of “award-winning.” Those glory days are the exception as opposed to the rule and looking back or trying to repeat the past can be wasted energy. Every creative endeavor offers a lesson to propel marketers to greatness. If you want to differentiate your creative service offering, capture the learning from every project as experienced by each member of the team. Start by understanding that some mistakes are not obvious in terms of the deliverable. Allow a safe space for creatives to compare their performance to their potential and you will find the key to reaching greatness. An environment of trust is needed for team members to dig deep and disclose their areas for growth.
Mistakes To Live & “Learn” By
- Failure of the individual to achieve their creative potential.
- Promotion of a group culture that accepts the status quo.
- Fear driven behaviors that avoid mistakes.
- Propensity to take the safe or easy route.
- Belief that award-worthy campaigns are the only drivers of future success.
Excessive interest in achieving stardom may overlook the steady contributor who has greatness within, not yet realized. Uncovering the internal motivation of your team is important because it gives you access to their discretionary effort. An honest accounting of how creatives really feel can be the best catalyst for a truly spectacular rebound. Disclosure at this level flies in the face of basic instincts to protect ego and reputation so a climate that embraces failure is rare. Doing the opposite of the average agency or internal marketer is the rebel yell that will release the power of differentiation and propel continuous growth.
How to Be a Non-Conformist
- Know that failure is a better teacher than success.
- Hold a post-mortem discussion after each project completion.
- Support every member of the creative team in identifying the potential within.
- Adopt a forward-thinking attitude that builds on key learnings.
- Offer transparency in your creative process and seek feedback from the team and the customer at every step.
Be bold and engage the team in honest reflection to realize their deepest motivators. At Xavier Creative House, we debrief our campaigns by gathering the agency team including creative directors, art directors, and copywriters to do a full accounting at the close of a project. And while this may be uncomfortable at times, we find that transparency is what it takes to build trust and achieve outstanding campaigns. We believe that making the most of failure is the secret to our bold and evocative designs.
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