They change industries with their vision and ideas, but they can also be hugely difficult to work with. Learn three rules for managing creative geeks.
Sam Bacharach, Cornell professor of labor management and co-founder of the Bacharach Leadership Group, writes in Inc. that managing creative geeks can be difficult. “Creative people sometimes operate most effectively on the outside of the collective,” Bacharach says, and there is “increase evidence that a sense of social rejection actually fuels creativity.”
For leaders tasked with managing creative geeks, Bacharach offers three “things to keep in mind” so that you can direct their energies without forcing them to conform and thereby stifling their ideas. Start by consciously reinforcing the idea “that creative geeks fit into a larger collective effort.” Engage them whenever possible in dialogue, and be sure to “coach them” and “partner with them as much as possible.” Lastly, “set boundaries” for your most creative people that gives “them enough space outside of the group” while also making sure that “their agenda does not spin out of control.”