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What is the secret to building a creative culture and how does it benefit team members and customers?

When someone tells you that their business aim is to cultivate a culture of creativity, what sort of business comes to mind? Creativity is not only for job titles such as graphic designer or marketer but, instead, can be applied to the operations and structure of a business.

After the pandemic, many businesses recognised that culture is a highly important aspect of maintaining a striving business, especially during times of uncertainty and instability. One good thing that came out of the pandemic is the focus on facilitating an environment in your business where people feel comfortable sharing their opinions, working together and the overall importance of culture within a business. Moreover, the realisation that supporting creativity and culture isn’t a cost to the business but rather an investment.

There are many articles that will tell you how and why a culture of collaboration and creativity is valuable to your business, but how do you promote it? No, we are not going to talk about bean bags, free coffees (is this even debatable at this point?) and free beers on Fridays. It’s time we actually address this topic with something more substantial, something that will have an actual measurable impact on the business’ finances.

What creative culture truly looks like

We have spent over 10 years establishing and tracking how implementing a limited liability partnership model can help businesses cultivate, nurture, and sustain creative culture and, thereby, drive business success. This is achieved primarily through the change in the attitude of the team when becoming partners but also through some cost and cash-flow benefits, more on the latter here. With hundreds of successful case studies some of which you can read here, we wanted to discuss our key takeaways when it comes to cultivating a creative culture.

One way of promoting a true culture of collaboration is by making everyone within the business involved in and feel rewarded for its success through tangible means. We aren’t talking about a pat on the back, a kindly-worded email. We are talking about meaningful things like a share in the business’ profits, an actual say in the direction of the company and transparency when it comes to business’ finances. The way we have helped other businesses achieve this is by creating a limited liability partnership (LLP) model.

The LLP model was developed based on the concept of partnership, whereby everyone acts and is treated as a key member-a-partner of the business. There are no hierarchy barriers, no matter what role they perform within the business, all members work together for the maximum benefit of the business as they will be directly rewarded for how well it does. Everyone is welcome to chip in to discuss the direction of the business and the ideas are valued based on merit rather than the person’s role or seniority. In short, the LLP model provides opportunities to allow team members to share and exchange opinions across traditional boundaries.

How not to stifle creativity

Finding the right balance that allows creativity to flourish within a business without stifling it is not easy. It’s not a rare occurrence within the creative departments of a business, such as marketing, to have one piece of work reviewed by six people and then by the end receive feedback that it lacks a unified point of view. Overall, nothing is quite as detrimental to a great creative idea like the opinions of half the office, a dozen internal meetings, countless more red tape, and waiting for someone to answer their email while on annual leave.

A partnership business puts faith in its partners to make necessary decisions both individually and collectively, and promotes initiative and motivation to seek solutions for the challenges facing the business. The success of the business gives the members a sense of achievement, which further stimulates them to achieve their creative potential and tackle more problems, thereby continually sustaining creativity.

But is this right for my business?

To some people, this may sound ideal, whereas to others this level of responsibility can be daunting. That’s why as much as we believe every business should strive toward the partnership model, we recognise that not all businesses or people are suited to it and that’s okay.

If you are an SME operating as a traditional Limited company with employees, and are interested in learning more about the partnership model or what it can do for your business, please feel free to reach out here.

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