In-house creative leaders have their fingers on the pulse of the corporate brand, which is one of the top value-drivers internal clients identify with having an in-house resource. In-house creative teams have continuously fine-tuned their company's image for years, and as creative professionals, we all know the importance of personality and how it needs to come through in every part of your brand. Without a brand personality, clients and prospects get mixed messages and have trouble connecting. The same holds true for your department, so it makes sense to put some thought into strengthening your team in a few areas to improve the perception of your brand within the company.
Think about your department's value proposition, which could be a statement identifying clear benefits your internal clients will receive when working with your team. Just like employees need to know their organization's visual identity and the general reasons for using it correctly, such as its role in enhancing the visibility of the organization, employees also need this information for the department they represent. Everyone on your creative team should be aware of how their talents can impact the business and what the department's value prop is.
Another way to strengthen your team would be to set a long-term vision for the department--in support of corporate goals. Hire people with skills that can expand your services and enhance your value proposition. Creative leaders should speak up and take the initiative to participate in new projects, lead an additional business unit, or let your peers know about some untapped talent that would benefit their strategic business goals. These efforts can elevate your team's credibility and set you up for future growth.
Professional development is also a critical area for team growth and is often overlooked due to capacity. I've found the best way to develop my team is to sign up top performers for conferences and classes. It's worth the pain of being short-handed for a few days for the benefit of inspiring your staff and allowing them to share and apply what they've learned.
The ongoing success of any creative team requires engaged and motivated people. You can contribute to this by promoting the team's value proposition, communicating your future state vision for the team and investing in training and developing your people. Think about what you can do each quarter to push your team to the next level. Treat your team like you treat your brand, and you'll begin to see a multitude of improved efficiencies and a much happier staff.