5 Rules To Having Effective Meetings With Creatives

Carlos Whittaker

We Vine. We Instagram. We Tweet. We Pin. We Doodle. We Dream.

I know many ISPD’s (I totally made that up cause I don’t know any of those Myers Reagin or Will Ferrill or whatever those test results are cause I don’t got time for that. I’m too busy creating things to study who you are… rant over.) who think when we are doing these things, these “time wasters”, that we are not focusing. The truth is, we are hunting and gathering.
Needless to say we need structure, but structure that works for creatives and doesn’t smash our dreams of finding and creating the next vine with 199 likes.

Here are some ways to pull the best out of meetings with creatives.
Notice I didn’t say “Creative Meetings”.
Them different.

1. Remove the chairs.
One thing is certain. Some people LOVE meetings. WE, creatives, would rather be creating than meeting about creating. So when you remove the chairs and sofas from a meeting, you limit the amount of time spent in the meeting.
When you sit you get comfortable. Move the chairs, get things done faster…Tweet:

2. Inspirational Environments not PreSchool Environments.
Look. I get it. Christmas planning meetings in the summer you want to lace garland around the room and have hot chocolate in the summer. You ain’t fooling me. You’ve got something themed on Vegas coming up so you spread cards on the table and have the sound of casinos coming through speakers somewhere. Cute. I get it.
But instead of spending resources trying to make a room more inspirational…
Go meet on the subway. Go to the deli in the grocery store on the other side of town. Head to the downtown library. Spread a blanket in the middle of a cow pasture in the middle of the day.
When you place a sofa cover on the sofa, you are still sitting on the same sofa.
Go sit on another sofa.

3. Don’t meet just because it is on the calendar.
There is nothing worse than coming to a meeting, just because there is supposed to be a meeting.
If there isn’t a good reason to meet, I promise you the creative will get more done outside of that meeting…

4. Use the creative for their skill set in the meeting.
When I get an emailed meeting notes, I don’t read them.
If they looked like this…

I’d not only read them, I’d study them.
Have the notes look more like this example and I promise you the creatives in the room will not only be more engaged in the meeting, they will remember everything mentioned in the meeting.

5. Back To The Future
So many times creatives get stuck on small details they HOPE will make something grand.
I like to have a moment of Future History in the meetings.
Have everyone imagine that the event, proposal, magazine issue, or whatever has ALREADY HAPPENED and it was AMAZING. Have the conversation start with WHY was it amazing and start working backwards instead of forwards. Make sense?

These are just some things I have learned running creative meetings for various organizations the past few years.
What are some things that work for you?

Carlos Whittaker's blog, ragamuffinsoul.com, is (approximately) the most popular blog in the world. 

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