Creativity is a highly sought after skill in every business. It is also a widely exploited skill. Understand how organizations/people handle creativity, they are not all the same. Some acknowledge creativity and original work, some compensate for it, and others exploit it; learn to recognize the difference.
These are suggestions to help creative people make good business choices and build solid professional relationships based on a shared value system. These are important questions to ask before entering into any professional relationship that involves the intermingling of creativity, original work, business and employment.
- What does the organization do that shows you they value creativity and original work? How do they acknowledge it? How do they compensate for it? How do they credit it?
- Understand the difference between one time fees vs. royalties when your work is reproduced for profit.
- How will your creativity and original work be used? How does the organization handle original ideas and innovative ways of thinking?
- Look at the creative work produced by the organization, it’s employees and members, how is this work developed and handled?
- If it’s about education and helping people there will be a win/win approach, demonstrated by the sharing of knowledge, support for the mutual success of others, and encouragement of what benefits the community.
- Look for transparency and visible credentials of the organization and it’s employees. Can you find, access, and verify who you are dealing with?
- What are tangible actions that reinforce mission statements, promotions, and advertising. Are there any discrepancies?
- Is the organizations focus based on the here and now or a global vision for the future? What tangible evidence supports their focus? Is their focus in alignment with your own?
- How does the organization practice reciprocity with other organizations? With it’s members? With it’s employees? With the community?
- How do the employees and members reflect the mission, goals, and business practices of the organization?
- What are the organizations goals? Are these in alignment with your own goals?
- What are the organizations ethics and business practices? Are these in alignment with your own value system?
- What is the overall atmosphere of the organization; respectful, supportive, competitive, sabotaging, exploitative, etc.
- Look for consistency when answering each of these questions by examining both the history and current actions of the organization.
- Understand your rights – non-profit business & legal resources for creative people
- A similar set of questions can be applied to gain insight into how an organization handles diversity, disability, and multiculturalism.
Knowing the answers to these questions will provide you with the details needed to make informed choices regarding professional relationships. If you take your time, you will learn a lot about who you’re dealing with.
In addition, parents and teachers of highly creative children need to have a system in place that teaches and models not only the value of creativity, but how to manage creativity and original work in the everyday world.
Creativity & Making Positive Business Choices Vol. 2, no. 4, ©March 2011 Published by Diversified ART™ ISSN 2166-3661