There’s not many CEOs I admire as much as MailChimp Co-founder Ben Chestnut. I keep reminding myself of his 5 rules for a creative culture:
1. Avoid rules. Avoid order. Don’t just embrace chaos, but create a little bit of it. Constant change, from the top-down, keeps people nimble and flexible (and shows that you want constant change).
2. Give yourself and your team permission to be creative. Permission to try something new, permission to fail, permission to embarrass yourself, permission to have crazy ideas.
3. Hire weird people. Not just the tattoo’d and pierced-in-strange-places kind, but people from outside your industry who would approach problems in different ways than you and your normal competitors.
4. Meetings are a necessary evil, but you can avoid the conference room and meet people in the halls, the water cooler, or their desks. Make meetings less about delegation and task management and more about cross-pollination of ideas (especially the weird ideas). This is a lot harder than centralized, top-down meetings. But this is your job — deal with it.
5. Structure your company to be flexible. Creativity is often spontaneous, so the whole company needs to be able to pivot quickly and execute on them (see #1).
If you enjoyed this, I’d recommend you watch Ben’s CreativeMornings talk. I guarantee you it’s 40minutes well spent.
Perfect timing – this topic has been on my mind a lot lately.
Feb 5th, 2015 / 2:54 pm
Liked the second point. “Permission to embarrass yourself” to be precise. Especially since I just watched Ward Andrews Creative Mornings talk on working backwards. One of the strategies they employ at his agency is to suggest the worst idea first.
Feb 11th, 2015 / 8:22 am
Love it. I need to print this out.
Feb 16th, 2015 / 12:27 am