Innovation Management in Ad Agencies

Innovation and creativity are always an important force within the Marketing and Advertising segment, demanding from ad agencies solutions which can be more and more impacting and effective towards the advertising brands’ objectives. Rae,MP had the privilege of talking to Leif Denti, consultant at Prospero Technology Management and licensed in Psychology from University of Gothemburg. Nowadays, Leif Denti is running for his Psychology Doctorate also for the University of Gothemburg, researching about how Project leaders stimulate creativity and innovation among their project teams. Read below four considerations the Swedish professional highlighted for team development in environments focused on creative economy jobs and the Research & Development department.

1. From an untrained eye, what are the clues that a leader and/or the staff isn’t working in favor of creativity and innovation?

There is a lot leaders/managers do to impede creativity and innovation. The single most important thing that leaders do is to constrict their employees’ freedom. This was a major finding in my dissertation. Leaders who “micro managed” gave too detailed instructions and monitored their employees too closely. This created demotivation and frustration, which is very bad for creativity. Another thing leaders can do to impede creativity is to ignore new ideas from their employees. Leaders are essentially gatekeepers and if the leader constantly blocks new ideas and initiatives very little will happen.

Leif Denti2. You’ve mentioned the “dark innovation” in one of your articles from Innovation Management. How does it work? How to use it to boost the creative productivity in a company, specially an ad agency?

Dark innovation“ is a term for the kinds of innovation that takes place outside of the formal innovation processes, or the formal departments that are designated to innovate (e.g, research and development departments). It’s the kind of innovation that happens because people are naturally innovative—they want to change aspects of their work and improve things. This kind of innovation must be recognized and encouraged, not as something that impedes business performance, but something that enhances it in the long term.

3. Is there the possibility of innovation self-management? I mean, could an individual or a team manage its creativity and innovation accomplishments without the need of a team leader or immediate boss?

Sure but the team still needs to know what they are going to be innovative about. They still need some direction, or strategy. In innovative companies, teams are already quite autonomous, that is self directed, but they have a good sense of the kinds of innovations that create value for the company.

4. What advices would you give to leaders who intend to start developing creativity and innovation among their employees?

· Start trusting your employees.
· Encourage creativity and recognize progress, even if progress is slow.
· Recognize failure as progress, not as failure.
· Be a role model. Try new things, fail often, and shrug it off.

Rae,MP thanks a lot for professor Leif Denti’s kindness and wishes him good luck in his Doctorate research and success in all facets in his career!