Go all-in: ensuring adoption for your new creative process

“You won’t be successful with a collaboration solution until there’s 100% adoption”

Evan ShoreVice President/Creative Systems Manager, Arnold Worldwide

My head got a workout nodding to this quote from a panel discussion at the recent Henry Stewart Creative Operations conference in LA. With terabytes worth of files flying back and forth between agencies, producers and clients, creative teams are challenged with keeping track of their workflow while meeting demands for more and more content.

One Director of Creative Operations reported needing to produce 5x more content with no additional headcount or budget in the next year. This means being more efficient with resources, but still maintaining an environment that allows creative teams to focus on their work. 


“Technology just isn’t my love language – I’m a marketer.”

Jen DuerksenAssociate Director, Creative Operations, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

One of the themes that was keenly debated by conference attendees was technology and process adoption. Creative operations experts at the event shared their tips for gaining widespread adoption of a new creative process. Here are my favorites:

Consider your needs: Make sure the process you are looking to optimize is going to solve the most obvious and immediate pain points of your team. Ask questions about specific workflow issues they have so they’ll understand the problem you’re looking to solve. 

Find a tool for everyone : Understanding what each team cares about and what they need is an important part of the adoption process. Taking all this into account will help you find something that works well across all your teams.Make friends with key stakeholders: Who has similar goals to you? Getting buy-in during the requirements stage from people like the creative director and teams like your IT department will help build enthusiasm early

Speak their language: Avoid generic discussions of your chosen technology’s features and instead focus on the specific benefits for each team. For example, tell your creative team that they can focus less on admin and more on the work.

Avoid too much training: If you chose a tool with a steep learning curve or that requires multiple training sessions, people will just give up and not use it. The experience needs to be as intuitive as the other apps people use every day.

Appoint internal champions: When it comes to technology adoption, peer pressure is a good thing. Find a change champion for each team or roll out implementation and let the enthusiasm of the first team infect the rest.Drum up excitement: Think of the adoption process as a marketing campaign and use your usual promotional tactic to keep the new tool top top of mind: posters, tchotchkes for adopters or a launch party can all help boost morale and curiosity.

Find out what they think: After you’ve implemented your collaboration tool, field a satisfaction survey to help identify issues in the process before they escalate and destroy any early enthusiasm.

If you’ve decided that the new year is the right time to update your creative process and generate new content more effectively, be sure to consider these tips for widespread adoption.

After all, collaboration only works when everyone is all in.

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