What We Talk About When We Talk About Creative Chaos

You may have come across the term Creative Chaos. And may have heard about what causes it, how it can be remedied, and why it’s important to rein it in. But what exactly is Creative Chaos?

Where Creativity Meets Productivity

Creative chaos is the mayhem that occurs in creative teams when multiple assets, projects, and clients are being juggled — without the framework to ensure that people, skills, and tools are being used effectively.

The first step is to recognize Creative Chaos, the next step is to rein it in — and empower your team to make great things happen, without the hold-ups.

Photo by Janelle Hiroshige on Unsplash.

Creative Chaos Involves More Than Just One Person

More often than not, we are forced to accept some level of “chaos” at work and march on. After all, we’re lucky to be doing something we love, and there is going to be some amount of not-so-fun busywork in every job, right?

While we feel creative chaos on a personal level, it’s important to understand that it’s rarely limited to a single role or person.

Creative chaos can be present in multiple processes and workflows within teams and organizations — affecting people in various roles. As it affects an increasing number of projects and individual contributors, it grows exponentially stronger and more deeply embedded.

How Creative Chaos Affects Your Whole Team

Designers, copywriters, videographers, and hands-on creatives of all stripes are perhaps the deepest in the trenches of Creative Chaos. When assets are in the wrong location or there is confusion around which elements are approved and final, creatives are subject to hours of wasted time, tensions with teammates, and possibly burnout.
Client expectations and communication are a constant challenge, but creative chaos amplifies the pressure to ensure your team meets expectations. Disorganization can lead to the same work being redone unnecessarily — and even repeatedly purchasing the same assets.
Upper Management
Yes, even upper management is affected. The budget is directly impacted by the wasted time, effort, and funds that are a direct consequence of creative chaos.
IT and Tech Team

When things get messy, your go-to tech people often get the brunt of it. As servers become bogged down with an excess of disorganized assets, everything takes longer — from manually distributing fonts to archiving completed work, and supporting all the various creative tools your team uses.

Added stress, wasted time, and burnout prevents optimal creative output and makes reaching your shared goals difficult.

From Chaos To Calm

Subtract Confusion, Add Clarity

Creative chaos can be stubborn, but it’s never a lost cause. Once you recognize the issue, there are things you can do that whittle away at the chaos and create a more streamlined and consistent workflow for your team.

It’s not as easy as flipping a switch. It takes intention, effort, and perseverance. But if the will is there, you and your whole team can reap the rewards.

Achieve Creative Harmony

We’ve helped freelance designers, creative agencies, marketing teams, global organizations, and even forms of government calm the Creative Chaos. Our approach — people, skills, processes, systems, and partners.

  1. People: The creative team that brings ideas to life every day.
  2. Skills: Staying current by continuing to develop new skills.
  3. Process: Being strategic with processes empowers the team to minimize busywork and improve clarity.
  4. Systems: Ensuring the systems support your ideal workflow.
  5. Partners: Experts who can help advise and guide you and your team towards successful outcomes. With nearly three decades of experience with helping teams and organizations tackle Creative Chaos, Extensis is an optimal partner who will help ensure your success and therefore your customers’ success.

We take a partner-driven approach and holistically address the challenges that you and your team are facing — from big stuff like your tech stack and team processes, to the crucial details, like folder structure and onboarding.

We believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts when it comes to these five pillars.

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If this whole thing has got you really thinking, we’d love to discuss your experience with creative chaos. Let’s solve your workflow woes once and for all.