Social Awareness

Tips for ‘Client of the Year’

Dear Client, This book will teach you how to get what you want from creative people by Bonnie Siegler.

From creative problem solving to innovation and design, technology continues to change the landscape and playing field of work. As many jobs become automated, uniquely human skills such as creativity, empathy, mediation, complex problem solving, network systems, and the like, will be far more in demand. But how do we work with creative people?

Clear, lighthearted and beautifully designed, this book will give you insight into the world, mind and perspective of the creative people you work with (or plan to hire). You will understand what drives them, how to engage them for best results and how to build a long lasting and productive work relationship.

It’s not just a list of do’s and don’ts, but goes on further to explain the reasons, emotions and meaning behind each point and situation described. It’s basically a translation, to help you understand how a creative interprets your words and behaviours and how you can interpret theirs.

As a creative strategist, these two stood out for me:

#13 Experience isn’t everything

I could really relate to this one. People asking about previous experience with same problem.  I provide insight and strategies where other ‘solutions’ and ‘formulas’ have not worked. That’s just the thing, social networks and work cultures are the result of the people that contain them at a given moment in time.  People are unique. So, it doesn’t make sense to apply the same strategy or formula to all workplaces. Each problem needs to be analysed and strategies adapted to the people within the culture as it is in the moment.

Bonnie makes very valid points, I highlight two of them:

1 ) “The path to every solution should be unique.” Spot on! One size does not fit all. Good solutions come from really listening to and analysing the issues, adapting the tools to offer solutions that suit the the client.

2) “Obsession with a specific kind of experience displays a lack of imagination, trust and inability to understand the nature of creative problem-solving”. So, the experience relates to the field more than to the particular cases. Even when it is the same kind of issue or symptom we are trying to address we still need to adapt it to the present scenario since the people in it are all different and this has an effect on the culture and the strategy.

#26 Be open to things you didn’t imagine.

I’m often stumped by the contradiction: A client looking for innovative solution, wants you to replicate what others are doing, even when it doesn’t work! Familiarity makes such confidence possible. But familiarity breed laziness, as Bonnie says.

Bonnie writes: “Someone said great architects don’t build great buildings, great clients allow great buildings to be built. Change the nouns and verbs and the same goes for any creative profession. (…) To me, the best solutions break all the rules, all the preconceived notions of what they should be.”

The future of your company and brand identity will progressively rely more on creative thinkers

The future of your company and brand identity will progressively rely more on creative thinkers and big picture people, capable of anticipating future trends to come up with new designs, concepts, and solutions. Knowing how to engage, build working relationships and get the most out of them is then vital, and this book gives you a head start in the right direction. If you are that kind of leader, manager or business owner,  this book is for you!



This book is available from the Boroondara Library Service in Melbourne. Check your local library network and request a copy if they don’t have it.