Introduction to Creative Leaders 50

In the creative industries, career progress typically results from your skill as a practitioner. But a great designer does not necessarily make a great design director: a great art director, does not necessarily make a great creative director.

Many creative people find themselves running a team when they have had little training or support for any kind of management role. In our new, dedicated Creative Leaders section, we will aim to bring together all those creative people in leadership roles, providing opportunities for them to learn from each other, share their processes and benefit from expert opinion and insight. We’ll look at how to attract and retain talent, how to build the right culture for your team, how to manage work and create the best environment for creativity to prosper and how to prove the worth of what you do, to clients, both internal and external.

There will be a dedicated Creative Leaders editorial section in print each month and online plus a series of live events providing opportunities for networking and discussion. To begin our focus on this area, we present the Creative Leaders 50 featuring 50 individuals who we feel are leaders in their field – from advertising and design, to the arts, media, culture and tech sectors as well as creative leaders working in-house within brands and other organisations.

Patrick Burgoyne, Editor, Creative Review

Successful artists, photographers, designers, musicians, and writers must be incubated, mentored, encouraged. They do not spring to life, talents and confidence intact, destined from infancy to unleash their creative vision on the world.

There is always someone who has gone before — a teacher, a mentor, a fellow artist. And there is usually someone standing today at the helm of a team or organisation, paving the way for greatness. A talented producer. A visionary creative director. A passionate CEO.

Creative Review understands that the talents required to succeed as a creative practitioner are very different from the skills necessary to lead, nurture, and inspire others in the field. That’s why we at Workfront partnered with them in this issue to honour 50 creative leaders across the UK who are providing opportunities, organising teams, designing effective processes, and sustaining creative culture.

As technology has continued to flatten the historical hierarchy of our world, giving every individual a platform and a voice, the nature of leadership has shifted. Today’s most influential figures are not endowed by divine right, by wealth and privilege, or by curriculum vitae alone. Truly, anyone who has enough talent and drive in whatever their chosen field can make the decision to step up and lead.

Some on our Creative Leaders 50 list have natural inclinations toward visionary leadership; others have painstakingly grown into their roles over many years or decades. But they all deserve to be recognised for their creative perspicacity and pioneering spirit. We invite you to join us in celebrating them this month, and continuing to be inspired by them throughout 2016.

Jada Balster, Marketing Director, Workfront