A license for creative advocacy



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Building an agile, harmonious, and creative team is difficult. Figuring out how to win over that infamously demanding stakeholder is even harder.

That’s the exact reason why we invited Social@Ogilvy’s Maury Postal to teach us how to advocate for your creative vision to people across the creative spectrum (both internal and external to your organization), how to empower your team to advocate for their own ideas, and how each team member can feel unique within the larger group. 

Watch the full recording below, or read on for our highlights from Maury’s talk.


How do you advocate for creativity?

First, let’s figure out what creativity is. We can all agree that it’s important, especially in a business sense. Companies want to monetize creativity. So how do you monetize something that comes from deep within a person?

“Think of creativity as intellectual wanderlust.”

Maury discussed a few of his definitions of creativity. Creativity to him is:

  1. Meandering. Creativity can be found in taking a new way to work, or connecting different disciplines. Think of it as intellectual wanderlust.
  2. Iterative. Creativity builds upon itself. There’s no wrong way to be creative. You simply learn from failures—which might be successes in future different projects.
  3. Visceral. If you close your eyes and remember the feeling of being inspired, you’ll realize that it wasn’t in a vacuum. Creativity is full of sensation, and it’s often the result of articulating the things we are feeling.
  4. Observational. The more observational you are, the more you see in the mundane. When you’re creative, you have the ability to choose to see the task at hand or something wildly different. 

How can you foster creativity?

As you question things you have empathy for people in these situations, and then you’ll start to see, [the world] doesn’t have to be like this.

–Michael Wolff

It’s a rule of human nature—everyone wants something. In a creative role, empathy allows you to dissect why someone does what he or she does. Yes, even empathy for your clients. They are actual people, with lots of things going on with their lives. They have problems, and they are looking to get somewhere.

“Remember that your clients are human beings.”

Equally as important, according to Maury: have empathy for your team. He mentions that there can be many drivers of creative output like fear and joy. In order to repeat an action at a high quality, you have to know what drives them and what they’re working toward. Everything your team is doing is motivated by something different.

Questions to ask:

  • Who is motivating them?
  • Are they internal or external to their organization?
  • What is motivating them?
  • What are they working towards?
  • What is dragging them down?
  • Is it related to their job? Is it related to a specific task?
  • What is an unexpected opportunity you can enable for them?
  • Something to unlock their true passions.

For Maury’s tips on how to advocate for creativity, I encourage you to watch our recap above.

And don’t forget to take a gander at Sarah’s amazing sketch notes:


Margaret Kelsey
Margaret Kelsey leads content marketing at Appcues. Before Appcues, she built content programs for InVision’s design community for 3.5 years and has roots in painting and PR. She’s a big fan of puns, Blackbird Donuts, and Oxford commas—probably in that order.

Keep up with me on and .

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