Managing creative talent – 3

Almost an year after I wrote the last post around this topic, I sit back and observer where the industry has moved on from there. We are increasingly becoming more CIO friendly by the day, Fortune thinkers are emphasizing (and luckily budgeting) on better design as a progressive pawn and not the least but clients are getting moneywise. Hot-desking (a popular development trend) is increasingly being introduced in the design world as well, the downside as I see is that production oriented work which by the way is mostly labor intensive gets pushed back to offshore “factory houses” such as India. The rift between the strategy and the final product makers increases by pounds by each deliverable.

The bigger question, how do we keep creative folks at both ends engaged, as well provide a career value worth appetite by good design work at hand. Most players in the ITES world understand this the hard way, the product proposition bears the heat in the entire circle. Companies should take advantage of virtual resources available and make the most of these to bridge communication and work variance gaps. I have recently seen Skype, TeamViewer and several other collaborative environments pick up in the global delivery cycle worlds. BaseCamp and other “delegation only” solutions to manage resources probably work better in the overall project delivery world, but not so cool in the design world.

What matters more in the design cycles to the creative folks (in my observation only) are to co-create right from ideas thru inception thru to realization. This is the adrenaline, if not, a disengaged team will produce a disengaged experience to the end users. This is something which requires more face and talk time between global teams, this is something which needs to push a mindset shift of team augmentation (or extension, or as in older times known as staff aug.) to be the trend, this too with an equal parity within flat organization and with parallel structures in pyramidical ones.

Three Fortune clients when recently opted for this model have reaped the following benefits in a period of 2 fiscal engagement quarters.

  1. A 3 fold increase in idea generation
  2. Near zero iteration in client as well serving organization teams
  3. Co-innovation and paper presentations (3 WIP)
  4. Increased CSAT and ESAT by 25%!

Now what we did was simple, we:

  1. Mirrored the team physical spaces at our offshore team space
  2. Ensured buddy-one programs for tag teams
  3. Reversed roles after each work product to ensure skill proliferation
  4. Piloted the working model with client & internal stakeholders successfully in 2 weeks

Achieving an equal-functional team from an initial cross-functional team is very much possible with equally interested and investing parties at both ends.

Faith in people brings out a trustworthy product in place.

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