Ask Anna: How can I encourage my team to seek creative growth?

When working in-house, what’s the best way to inspire members of your team? And as a leader, what can you do to fuel people’s desire to learn and grow? Our agony aunt Anna Higgs has some advice

Dear Anna, 

Due to the nature of working with the same brand day in day out it can sometimes feel that creativity can be stifled. We run ‘creative days’ or workshops to help with this corporately, but how would you help bolster people’s individual desire to grow creatively? What can I do as a leader to encourage and inspire people to feed their creativity personally (apart from reading CR)?


Dear Anon, 

What a wonderful question and what a lucky team to have a leader like you, that understands the need for sustained personal growth as well as professional delivery of the day-to-day job. It’s always tricky to balance depth of expertise in a brand, particularly in an in-house team, with the need for perspective and freshness to keep generating bold brilliant ideas. So it is great that you’re aware of that and open to tackling it.

As hard as finding that balance is, the good news is that there are several ways that you can tackle this – from person to person in the team, as well as day to day in the office, right through to at the highest strategic levels as a leader.

First of all I’d take it to the level of each person in your team, and dig in to listen. Find out what’s important to each individual. What people say are their strengths aren’t necessarily what they’re best at, or most interested in. So be curious, ask as many open questions as you can. What are they enjoying creatively? How do they want to grow?