It’s Word of the Day where we take a word and teach some things strategically to help you understand your business, your creative business, and how you lead that.
This word of the day is “capacity.” This is the magic. This is the thing you’re always managing in a creative business, a knowledge-based business where people sell their ideas. The deliverables are often the spoken word. Sometimes their deliverables have real things, tangible things, but in creative agencies and creative knowledge businesses, a lot of times the deliverables are digital in nature, and so it’s hard to know when you’ve delivered, when you haven’t. And you know what else is hard to know? The capacity of your team, and here’s one thing you can’t forget. You always must assess and know capacity, and it’s harder. The bigger you get, the more complex your business gets, the harder knowing capacity becomes, but it’s still just as important.
Now, if you ignore capacity and you just go get a whole butt load of clients and you dump them into your firm, that’s going to, that’s going to wreck processes. It’s going to wreck the minds of the creative people doing this work. They’re going to push hard back against this onslaught of a use or a requirement of their capacity, and the team are often the ones that feel… And they can’t state this typically, but they feel the hours I have to give mentally, emotionally don’t match the hours you want me to produce things. That bump into capacity really causes trouble on creative team, so you always have to be managing capacity. Sometimes people do this with dashboards. They manage it with hours. There’s a lot of different ways to do it.
In our firm, we use project managers really to be close to our creative team so that they’re always assessing their capacity because it’s hard for people to assess their own capacity. You can ask them, “Are you overwhelmed?” And they can say yes, thinking they work 35 hours a week when they’re working 15. People do that. Humans overload themselves and become overwhelmed for a lot of different reasons, and so it confuses an assessment of true capacity. And so creative agency owners really win when they understand the truth of capacity, and it’s hard to do. But, basically, capacity is what valuable output can my creative team perform, what can they produce, and then what am I bringing in, in the form of new clients and in the form of new projects and things like that. That’s something you always want to be working on.
It’s hard in this short video to give you solutions on how to fix capacity, but I do want to say this with this video. Don’t think this isn’t a big deal. This is part of a leadership team’s job is to always be thinking about the capacity of their team. Meeting with the team a lot and asking good questions is a way you can always be assessing capacity of your team. You know what affects capacity? Not just work. Sometimes a team member has some trouble at home. They bring that trouble at home into their work. Their capacity will be affected because their mind will be affected in that way.
So don’t overlook capacity. It is a very important part of managing a creative business… and you know what, it’s complex. We do that with agencies. So if you need help really sorting through capacity issues, let us know. Just hit us up, and we can help you try to cut through the confusion of capacity and how it relates to leadership in bigger agencies and how it relates to creative people and how they do their work. We’d love to help you. Thanks. I hope that helps. Take care.