Michael Williams’ job interview at Mashable was definitely not typical:
“My actual interview at Mashable started, I walked in the door, and I sat in a room, and there was a group of people. I’m thinking it was just going to be a normal question/answer sort of experience,” Williams remembered. “Instead, I sat down. They put an assignment up on the wall and were literally like, ‘Okay, let’s have a brainstorm.’ I’m like, ‘What?’ I’m just talking. All these people, I had no idea who they are and we’re just spit-balling ideas. But it was not in a way that made it feel intimidating. It was more like, ‘Hey, this is a culture, this is an environment where every idea counts. Put it up on the wall, and let’s vet through and see what actually works.'”
Williams told this story at the recent Video Marketing Power Summit (VMPS) in New York City, because it shaped his opinion of how marketers and advertisers can build a creative environment. Now the creative director for branded content at Mashable, Williams says the goal is an office where everyone’s ideas are heard. That was as switch for him coming from an advertising background where creative work was siloed off.
“Having come from the advertising side, it was more compartmentalized, and I was not aware,” Williams said. “There was the creative department, there was the blah, blah, blah department. Everyone stayed in their lane. Once I came to a digital media company, I was like, ‘Okay, here’s my idea,’ and then this creative technologist is like, ‘Oh, that’s great. I got an idea too.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh…’ I just wasn’t used to that.”
While many companies say they want to build a culture that breeds creativity, they might not live by those ideas in their day-to-day work. How marketers and advertisers can build a creative environment starts with letting everyone into the process.
For more from Michael Williams, watch the video below.