Micro vs Macro: Using “Success Factors” To Manage Your Team

Every creative leader faces the challenge of building and managing a team. Finding the right folks is half the battle. After you find them, it is your responsibility to manage the team. Great management happens on both a
“micro” level and a “macro” level. Micro-management – not the notoriously negative “micromanagement,” but rather what I call the MICRO aspect of management – is all about the day-to-day management that keeps the team on track.


by Scott Belsky | //the99percent.com

Every creative leader faces the challenge of building and managing a team. Finding the right folks is half the battle. After you find them, it is your responsibility to manage the team. Great management happens on both a
micro” level and a “macro” level. Micro-management – not the notoriously negative “micromanagement,” but rather what I call the MICRO aspect of management – is all about the day-to-day management that keeps the team on track.

A great MICRO manager asks questions like:

  • What are the deadlines for a particular project?
  • How do we measure progress (and are we making progress)?
  • Is there sufficient feedback exchange?
  • How do we promote more accountability within the team?

But what about the MACRO part of management? Beyond your day-to-day role as a manager, you must also consider each person’s career trajectory. Leer más “Micro vs Macro: Using “Success Factors” To Manage Your Team”

The Five Levels of Communication in a Connected World

In the digital world in which we live, it has become too easy to send emails, ping people via instant message, text, tweet, etc. Upon reflection, I think I’ve been too haphazard about how I communicate with my colleagues, clients, friends, and family. Oftentimes, an email about a problem should have been a phone call. And sometimes a phone call should have been an in-person meeting.
Knowing what to say and when to say it is not enough. In the modern day, we must decide HOW to communicate.

Consider the five levels of communication:

Level 1: Message into the Ether
Snail mail and email have a few things in common: They can be of any length, and they are not conversational. Emails and letters are sent out, and then new messages are composed and returned. Sometimes it takes days or weeks before a response arrives. Since emails and letters are not conversational (they lump all points together rather than go point, counterpoint, point, etc…), there is a HIGH LEVEL of misunderstanding with this medium of communication. As many of us know, little issues can escalate over email…


In the digital world in which we live, it has become too easy to send emails, ping people via instant message, text, tweet, etc. Upon reflection, I think I’ve been too haphazard about how I communicate with my colleagues, clients, friends, and family. Oftentimes, an email about a problem should have been a phone call. And sometimes a phone call should have been an in-person meeting.
Knowing what to say and when to say it is not enough. In the modern day, we must decide HOW to communicate.

Consider the five levels of communication:
Level 1: Message into the Ether
Snail mail and email have a few things in common: They can be of any length, and they are not conversational. Emails and letters are sent out, and then new messages are composed and returned. Sometimes it takes days or weeks before a response arrives. Since emails and letters are not conversational (they lump all points together rather than go point, counterpoint, point, etc…), there is a HIGH LEVEL of misunderstanding with this medium of communication. As many of us know, little issues can escalate over email… Leer más “The Five Levels of Communication in a Connected World”

Design Inspiration: Brochure Design Showcase

Brochures are an important marketing material for many companies. A well-designed and professional-looking brochure can go along way towards an effective marketing campaign. In this post we’ll showcase 45 brochures from various designers (via the Behance Network). If you see something you like, click on the image and you will be led to the source. At the source, in many cases, you will see multiple images of the brochure.


Brochures are an important marketing material for many companies. A well-designed and professional-looking brochure can go along way towards an effective marketing campaign. In this post we’ll showcase 45 brochures from various designers (via the Behance Network). If you see something you like, click on the image and you will be led to the source. At the source, in many cases, you will see multiple images of the brochure.

Brochure Design

Brochure Design

Brochure Design

Brochure Design

Brochure Design

Brochure Design

Brochure Design Leer más “Design Inspiration: Brochure Design Showcase”

Cuatro cosas a considerar a la hora de crear un logo

Con todo el ruido que están generando las marcas en la red, el buen branding se ha vuelto más importante. Aunque no se trate de un anunciante que apueste fuerte por la tecnología, la imagen de la web oficial y la identidad en las redes sociales, blogs, etc. debe ser clara y unificada. A pesar de que ya existen tecnologías que ayudan a controlar la marca online, nada sustituye a un diseñador “real” que sea capaz de crear un logo que represente la estética de la compañía.


Con todo el ruido que están generando las marcas en la red, el buen branding se ha vuelto más importante. Aunque no se trate de un anunciante que apueste fuerte por la tecnología, la imagen de la web oficial y la identidad en las redes sociales, blogs, etc. debe ser clara y unificada. A pesar de que ya existen tecnologías que ayudan a controlar la marca online, nada sustituye a un diseñador “real” que sea capaz de crear un logo que represente la estética de la compañía.

Si bien no hay nada escrito para crear un logo perfecto, Mashable aconseja tener en cuenta los siguientes cuatro puntos:

1. La identidad en un mundo donde la elección es infinita. El logo es la primera impresión. Antes incluso de que el consumidor sepa lo que el anunciante vende, ve el logo y dependiendo de si le atrapa querrá saber más sobre la marca o no. En la red, esta decisión se toma en milisegundos. La razón por la que la web se ha convertido en la mejor aliada de los pequeños negocios es porque puede ponerlos al mismo nivel que una gran marca. Además, los pequeños negocios tienen la ventaja de poder adaptarse mejor a lo que pide el internauta. Leer más “Cuatro cosas a considerar a la hora de crear un logo”

Our Action Addiction

After a couple years of studying how creative people stay organized, we developed a simple and easily customized method for managing projects. A good portion of 2006 was spent putting the Action Method into practice.
We are our own guinea pigs. As you might expect from a group of designers, writers, and entrepreneurs, the Behance team has a lot of ideas. We suffer from the very frustrations and shortfalls that we try to solve in the creative community.

When we brainstorm, the ideas and to-do’s that come up are likely to disappear unless they are captured as action steps. When we take notes, the notes are often useless after 24 hours. When we have creative but off-topic ideas that we may want to come back to someday, these ideas are often lost unless they are kept in some sort of “backburner.” The Action Method was created to address these challenges, among others.

The year of 2006 was spent trying to practice what we preach. We held each other painstakingly accountable: if one of us had an idea for a new page design or article topic, an action step was recorded, deadlines were set, and the group waited in sweet anticipation.

Inadvertently, we developed a few of our own devices to help keep us on track. One of our big wins was the Action Pad, an actualization of the theory we were working with around CAPTURING ACTION STEPS, TRACKING BACKBURNER ITEMS, and FILING REFERENCE ITEMS. After extensive testing and focus groups, the Action Method is now used by a group of early adopters in the design, film, music, and technology industries. You’re welcome to download the template (for free) or purchase some products based on the method at the Outfitter. Or, maybe you’ll create your own system based on the Action Method!

The Action Method helped us identify some of our inefficiencies, and prompted some helpful solutions…


by Behance Team

After a couple years of studying how creative people stay organized, we developed a simple and easily customized method for managing projects. A good portion of 2006 was spent putting the Action Method into practice.
We are our own guinea pigs. As you might expect from a group of designers, writers, and entrepreneurs, the Behance team has a lot of ideas. We suffer from the very frustrations and shortfalls that we try to solve in the creative community.

When we brainstorm, the ideas and to-do’s that come up are likely to disappear unless they are captured as action steps. When we take notes, the notes are often useless after 24 hours. When we have creative but off-topic ideas that we may want to come back to someday, these ideas are often lost unless they are kept in some sort of “backburner.” The Action Method was created to address these challenges, among others.

The year of 2006 was spent trying to practice what we preach. We held each other painstakingly accountable: if one of us had an idea for a new page design or article topic, an action step was recorded, deadlines were set, and the group waited in sweet anticipation.

Inadvertently, we developed a few of our own devices to help keep us on track. One of our big wins was the Action Pad, an actualization of the theory we were working with around CAPTURING ACTION STEPS, TRACKING BACKBURNER ITEMS, and FILING REFERENCE ITEMS. After extensive testing and focus groups, the Action Method is now used by a group of early adopters in the design, film, music, and technology industries. You’re welcome to download the template (for free) or purchase some products based on the method at the Outfitter. Or, maybe you’ll create your own system based on the Action Method!

The Action Method helped us identify some of our inefficiencies, and prompted some helpful solutions… Leer más “Our Action Addiction”

Welcome to the Era of Creative Meritocracy

Imagine a world where the best ideas have the best chance to succeed. No more favoritism that places the wrong people on creative projects. Cut out the middlemen that arbitrarily recommend cost-efficient talent over the most deserving talent. Forget the corporate nepotism that appoints leaders based on relationships over merit. Every individual, team, and industry would benefit from a world where the most talented people got the most opportunity. I call this dream “creative meritocracy,” and I believe that advances in technology, online communities, and platforms that empower career independence will make this dream a reality in the near future.

Unfortunately, we’re up against centuries of entrenched practices unfriendly to merit-based opportunity. Most industries – and society as a whole – are plagued with inefficiencies, middlemen, and tainted systems for determining quality. It’s a sad truth: The quality of your ideas and talent is less important than who you know, who represents you, and what your name is. Why? Because the “old school” systems around us make it so.

Without creative meritocracy, we suffer because our talent and hard work aren’t enough to land the job. Clients suffer because they receive inferior work. Moreover, our industries and society suffer from mediocrity.

Call it depressing or unfair, but don’t accept it. Creative meritocracy is within our reach. It is our job as creative minds and leaders to foster an era where capability is matched with opportunity.

Here are a few ways we can usher in the Era of Creative Meritocracy:

1. Proper Attribution
In the modern day of transparency and easy access to information, we should be wary of any efforts to isolate talent. Headhunters are known to find talent and then send around pieces of portfolios and resumes without any names attached. They purposely conceal the identity of talent and, as a result, are able to override meritocracy. Oftentimes, headhunters will use one person’s credentials as bait and then offer up less qualified talent that yields a higher profit margin.

Creative meritocracy relies on transparency and direct attribution. Appreciation for one’s ideas and creative work must be directly credited to the source. The accumulation of appreciation (or credit) is the currency that buys opportunity.


Imagine a world where the best ideas have the best chance to succeed. No more favoritism that places the wrong people on creative projects. Cut out the middlemen that arbitrarily recommend cost-efficient talent over the most deserving talent. Forget the corporate nepotism that appoints leaders based on relationships over merit. Every individual, team, and industry would benefit from a world where the most talented people got the most opportunity. I call this dream “creative meritocracy,” and I believe that advances in technology, online communities, and platforms that empower career independence will make this dream a reality in the near future.

Unfortunately, we’re up against centuries of entrenched practices unfriendly to merit-based opportunity. Most industries – and society as a whole – are plagued with inefficiencies, middlemen, and tainted systems for determining quality. It’s a sad truth: The quality of your ideas and talent is less important than who you know, who represents you, and what your name is. Why? Because the “old school” systems around us make it so.

Without creative meritocracy, we suffer because our talent and hard work aren’t enough to land the job. Clients suffer because they receive inferior work. Moreover, our industries and society suffer from mediocrity.

Call it depressing or unfair, but don’t accept it. Creative meritocracy is within our reach. It is our job as creative minds and leaders to foster an era where capability is matched with opportunity.

Here are a few ways we can usher in the Era of Creative Meritocracy:

1. Proper Attribution
In the modern day of transparency and easy access to information, we should be wary of any efforts to isolate talent. Headhunters are known to find talent and then send around pieces of portfolios and resumes without any names attached. They purposely conceal the identity of talent and, as a result, are able to override meritocracy. Oftentimes, headhunters will use one person’s credentials as bait and then offer up less qualified talent that yields a higher profit margin.

Creative meritocracy relies on transparency and direct attribution. Appreciation for one’s ideas and creative work must be directly credited to the source. The accumulation of appreciation (or credit) is the currency that buys opportunity. Leer más “Welcome to the Era of Creative Meritocracy”

Behance Helps Creatives Showcase Portfolios on LinkedIn

Behance, a platform for creative professionals, has just launched a new collaboration between its service and LinkedIn. Utilizing a new app called Creative Portfolio Display, users can now connect their portfolios directly to their LinkedIn accounts.

This is a great bridge between the creative and the more professional social networking worlds. At the Mashable Media Summit earlier this summer, Co-founder and CEO of Behance Scott Belsky spoke about the growth of the network and its focus on bringing creative meritocracy to the design world.

Behance has always been focused on helping organize the creative world. To that end, the free Behance Network (Behance Network) lets artists, designers and other creative professionals showcase their projects and portfolios. With the new LinkedIn partnership, the potential audience for Behance members increases exponentially.


Behance, a platform for creative professionals, has just launched a new collaboration between its service and LinkedIn. Utilizing a new app called Creative Portfolio Display, users can now connect their portfolios directly to their LinkedIn accounts.

This is a great bridge between the creative and the more professional social networking worlds. At the Mashable Media Summit earlier this summer, Co-founder and CEO of Behance Scott Belsky spoke about the growth of the network and its focus on bringing creative meritocracy to the design world.

Behance has always been focused on helping organize the creative world. To that end, the free Behance Network (Behance Network) lets artists, designers and other creative professionals showcase their projects and portfolios. With the new LinkedIn partnership, the potential audience for Behance members increases exponentially. Leer más “Behance Helps Creatives Showcase Portfolios on LinkedIn”