Creative Employees Moving On?


It seems that highly creative, well-known companies such as Google, Facebook, or Apple (or even DreamWorks, Pixar, etc.) would have no problem finding and retaining creative employees, right? These are regarded as some of the most creative companies, not just in what they do, but how they manage (or don’t manage) their employees.  Surprisingly, they have to be the most conscious of how they retain their employees, because in such a highly creative work environment, money is not always what’s keeping their best people.

Interestingly enough, last fall Google gave 10% raises to all its employees and huge bonuses, apparently to keep people from moving over to Facebook (CBSNews). Whether or not that was their true motivation, it is a reality that even top companies to work for have to be creative in how to keep their creative employees.  After all, it would be just as easy for them to work for themselves altogether.

So how is it that companies can keep their most talented from jumping ship and moving on to their own venture or the next innovative company? In an article from, there are a few creative management techniques businesses should employ: The first is to eliminate the top-down strategy that has been a traditional way of running business. Allow valued employees to be involved in meetings that determine the company’s strategic direction since they are the ones who actually experience the day to day operations. Second is to give these creative employees projects to run and let them have the responsibility to carry it out. Third is to create a group of entrepreneurs responsible for finding new and creative ideas for the company and let them create proofs of concept to present to top management.

These ideas may seem like business 101, but management must consider their role as creative as well especially in creative industries.  I think that is the lesson in this actually. It’s not about managing the creative anymore, but about creative management. As Bilton said in his chapter, “If we accept this definition of creativity as a ‘managed’ process, we can perhaps recognize that management too is (or should be) a creative process,” and, “ more fundamentally, creative and managerial processes seem to be analogous, even if they may be seeking very different outcomes.”


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