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Top 10 tips on creative leadership

Per Pedersen shares his thoughts on leading for creativity and keeping your agency relevant in the future

When done correctly, creative leadership development can have the power to transform individuals, teams, companies, and societies. As the Global Creative Chairman of Grey, Per Pedersen sets the creative ambition for the network, and under his creative leadership style, the Grey Global Creative Council has become a catalyst for creating strong creative work culture across the entire agency network.

Equipped with years of experience and knowledge about how to inspire creative thinking, Per thinks that "a lot of agencies are going to die in the future because they think they still have it". For Per, the future of creativity and advertising isn’t stunts, trolling, hacking, virtual reality or even AI trying to be human. He argues that the future belongs to creative leaders, to rule breakers, to the misbehaved. And most importantly, he believes that the future belongs to brave clients that commit to brave strategies. 

Stressing the importance of nurturing creativity, Per shares his top 10 tips on creative business leadership:

  • Great work solves all problems. Let absolutely nothing get in the way of that. People are sick and tired of advertising. But, they love ideas, good stories, and solutions. Stop making ads that look and talk like ads.
  • Don’t chase awards. Work great to do great work and let the awards come to you.
  • Have the swagger of a rock star. Win in pop culture and don’t ever become corporate.
  • Get out from the board room and get down from the high horse. Be a network of human beings with a shared passion to kick ass.
  • Put creativity at the centre and creative people at the top.
  • Break down the processes that kill creativity. Unleash creativity instead of managing it.
  • Celebrate your heroic failures as part of winning. 
  • Don’t let fear prevent anyone from dreaming big.
  • Stop telling your agency what to do and stop doing what you’re told

To enhance your leadership and management skills, understand the nuances of being a creative leader, and to learn how to enable and nurture creativity within your team or business, join D&AD’s creative leadership course, Leading for Creativity.

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