There is no need to beat around the bush. Times are tough throughout the creative industries. For location-based and themed entertainment professionals, in particular, lock-downs and prolonged reopenings with limited attendance have had a massive impact. Many excellent and talented people have lost their jobs, as companies and attractions tighten the belt to make it to the next season. Even established entertainment legends are under threat; Cirque du Soleil has filed for bankruptcy protection, and Broadway is shut down until 2021. In the midst of all of this, it is heartwarming to see how people and associations are reaching out to help others move past their current challenges. The kindness and support of industry peers persist.
It may be hard to see at the moment, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is not the end. We are at the beginning of something new. Or mere precisely put, we now see the acceleration of the evolution of the creative industry as a whole, regardless of whether we are talking experiences, entertainment, games, advertising, design or whatever the professional dedication is.
The future of creative work has exciting new possibilities to it, and leaders and team members alike cannot ignore what they may be. Some may have been discussed before but were dismissed as not being feasible. Funny enough, often by some of those who are adamantly claiming that we should not keep doing what we always have done if we want to move forward. However, at this point, a significant amount of the discarded suggestions have now proven their legitimacy in practice. Consequently, now is the right time to consider not only what has been established in direct response to the lock-down, but also that which was already discussed before.
Some of your considerations as a creative professional or leader may include the following:
- Does the team need to be located at the same address, in the same city or even in the same country?
- What kinds of tasks actually demands people being in the same room, and have you tested the opposite to confirm this claim?
- What can you do to build team spirit and connections beyond work relations for the team that is not at the same location?
- Can your team achieve the same amount of work in four days, as they can in five, especially if working at home some days allow them to get more done through highly focused, deep work?
- Are your team members exclusively on your team, or can they be part of others, perhaps working on their own dream from time to time?
- What kind of team roles need to be matched with working on a project basis, or being full-time employed?
- Should you adopt a mission-based culture where reaching milestones on time is measured over the number of hours spent on the achievement?
- How can you handle the flexibility of having the team sometimes at the office, sometimes at home or perhaps most times as part of an expanded virtual team?
- What opportunities present themselves when you move beyond the restraints of time and space, with a team capable of working in different locations at different hours?
- How can you establish and direct – not dictate and control – all of this, and should it be done in steps as an evolution rather than a revolution?
This is, obviously, not the definitive list of considerations. It is ten points for further review and discussion that can help you drive your organisational design forward. Take a look around you in the business landscape, and you will find confirmation that all of the above is being taken into serious consideration among progressive and proactive companies and individuals who are looking to maintain or build a position in the future of creative work. Why not be one of them?