The Creative Path to Results

With all these years dealing with creative people, I have somehow identified a few trends among creative workers. By creative workers, I mean all kinds of professions that has creative input in their work, not only restricting to graphic designers, 3d graphic artist but also encompassing web programmers, database designers and game programmers. All these people contributes creatively in their work, some way or another.

One interesting trend is the two extreme poles- Creative versus Practical.

On the Creative end, these people are defined by their unlimited amount of creative juices flowing between their ears. These people can churn up wonderful and unique ideas. They have the ability to come up with “WOW!” results and often is capable to sweep everyone off their feet with indigenious ideas. However, very creative people are often those who miss deadlines and usually don’t give a damn to submissions guidelines and clients expectations.

On the Practical extreme, these people are extremely logic oriented, task-driven and well planned. These people delivers on time, and within the expectations of the clients. They are very logical about the objectives and milestones they set, and tend to have a very realistic approach in everything they do. They ensure risks are well managed and if can, eliminated. However, don’t expect “WOW!” results from them. Their job is not to impress, their job is to deliver on time, everytime.

Well, to be pratical, no one is at any one of the extremes mentioned above. All of us are either skewed towards one end or the other. I am not sure which side gives a higher chance of client satisfaction and quality results, but I feel that each projects will need different treatments. You shouldn’t ask someone who’s very practical to work on a project that requires groundbreaking technology and to deliver cutting edge results. Or neither you should ask the artsy-fartsy designer to deliver results within a very tight time constraint.

Eventually, it all boils down to delivering the results within the given constraint. And it will be definitely up to us to tackle each projects either from the Creative perspective or using a more Practical approach. The rule of thumb here would be knowing when to cut off, knowing when is the last finishing touches and when it’s time to tell yourself “Enough!”.

A perfectionist might have a problem with that.

What are your views on this?

2006-02-23T10:59:54+00:00 July 28th, 2005|Daily Observations, Productivity|3 Comments


  1. Oysterman July 29, 2005 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Most of the times I think it also depends on the manager’s ability to handle/manage these creative/technical people.Malaysians in general lack proper management and people skills needed to properly manage a team of creative or technical people.They approach them as if they were managing factory staffs who are easily cowed by fear. Technical/creative people are also thought of as ‘dispensable’ and replaceable which is why there’re no incentives to properly manage them or keep them in the company for long. Malaysia is a trading nation with 3rd world mentality, and so this mentality will reflect on the workforce. The issue is to make fast money in the shortest time as possible and as much as possible.Everyone wants to be a manager but very few wants to do the actual work. Tons of manager wannabees CANNOT manage, they have no talent and so the only way for them to make themselves seemingly useful is to move to a management position by hook or by crook.In the end you have so many of these no-talent politicians finding their way up above everyone else so they can piss on talents with their own ego, causing staff turnovers in so many companies.The other issue is micromanagement, should study that topic in depth, because it is still being practiced in this era by dinosaur people.

  2. Avijit Paul July 29, 2005 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Well, well, lets say, we asians need to educate our clients and us a lot more. because lot of the time we get very tight deadline jobs as ppl think its just so easy to make pretty stuff. But since we (say programmer or designer) we have a life too, so we get frustated fast and cant produce good work. So, we need to tell ppl that, we need more time to do some stuff, because if given time, a crazy creative can finish the job on time and also a very practical person can give him or her a chance to be more creative. thats just my 2 cents.

  3. yowchuan July 29, 2005 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    Yeah, I agree that time is an important factor in any projects that we do. Indeed, if we take out time from the equation, then the entire project’s purpose would have lost its purpose, which is why I think many R&D; projects which either has got endless supply of cash (money), no fixed deliverable date (time) and improper selection of talents (quality) usually results in failures.To add to my Creative vs Practical discussion, the best results does not mean that you must be at a certain point of the scale or achieve an equilibrium of Creativity and Practicality.The best results will depend on how flexibility one is in adjusting the scale to meet the requirements of the projects or problems at hand.

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