After days, if not weeks or months, of trashing through ideas and then carefully refining your work, you send your client or manager a product that positively shines. But instead of commending you for your creative genius, they respond in a far more maddening manner. Maybe they dash off a terse “I don’t like it” or send back a long list of overly prescriptive change requests or reply with a vague and confusing request to make it “pop.” Whichever it is, you’ve just received some pretty terrible feedback.
All of us are governed by our own internal clocks, or circadian rhythms, that determine when we’re wide awake and when we need toothpicks to keep our eyes open. We tend to think that we’re at our best during our peak hours: Night owls’ hoots are pitch-perfect in the evening and larks catch the most worms early in the day. But when it comes to creativity, we may be getting it all wrong.
Even the most skilled creative team will occasionally miss the mark. Maybe their aim was slightly off, or you perhaps you were looking at totally different targets. Providing useful feedback can help everyone realign and pull the project’s objective into sharper focus. But helping them draw the best version out of their creative quiver can be a challenge. You want to be precise without micromanaging, kind without being condescending, and direct but not dismissive. With all these fine lines to walk, how do you make sure your feedback sparks forward momentum and doesn’t derail the project? The following tips will help ensure you and your creative colleagues are communicating effectively, so that you end up with a final product everyone is proud of.
DJ Steve Aoki is a two-time Grammy-nominated international producer/DJ, entrepreneur, and founder of Dim Mak Records. As one of the highest-grossing dance artists in North America, it’s no surprise he’s in high demand. His recently collaborated with the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, Bok Nero, T-Pain, 2Chainz, and Gucci Mane, to name just a few.
Every November, 400,000 aspiring novelists make a commitment to dive into a literary marathon known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal? Completing a 50,000-word novel in just 4 weeks. Founded in July 1999 by writer Chris Baty, NaNoWriMo has been the catalyst for over a dozen bestsellers. This year, Dropbox Paper is sponsoring NaNoWriMo—and that inspired two of our own to take on the challenge.
2017’s Outside Lands festival in San Francisco is the result of a now decade-long partnership between co-producers Superfly and Another Planet Entertainment. Beyond these two entities are the 65+ bands, 20+ comedians, 80 food vendors serving over 200 menu items, 40 wineries, 30 breweries, visual artists, and more. And behind those is a vast network of vendors, operations managers, producers and freelancers. While musicians and chefs are creating collaborative performances across the diverse genres of food and music, the teams behind the curtain have been in lockstep year round to create the stage they stand on. With the sheer number of teams involved, a tool tying these networks together is essential.