If you’ve ever been part of a team within a company that launches a home-run product that is making tons of cash, you’ve likely experienced the “cash cow” syndrome. A very interesting dilemma comes up when a team encounters success: they are asked to keep doing what they’re doing rather than focus on new things. If your team is making a lot of money, you may be asked to stop being creative and just keep doing what you’re doing. This lofty price for success poses a very interesting challenge for the manager: How do you keep consistency and avoid any risky changes without damaging morale with boredom and monotony?
Leaders in such businesses must remember that the source of their success is a group of motivated people. Continuous challenges and new projects help keep people engaged – especially in creative teams. While the near-term prospects of switching things up in a successful department may seem discouraging, the long-term need to keep people engaged is real.
Tony is a leader of one such team within a consumer products company. One of their products was a tremendous success and now, in the crazy economic climate we face, his team has been told to make numerous derivative products but nothing entirely new. “My team – especially the dreamers among us – are getting bored,” Tony explained. So, to keep people engaged, he has kicked off “Innovation Fridays.” Starting at noon, the team is unleashed to develop “totally original” concepts. It is unlikely any of these concepts will be funded and launched in the near-term. However, this strategy has kept the team engaged enough the weather this peculiar crisis that comes along with great success.
Behance articles and tips are adapted from the writing and research of Scott Belsky and the Behance team. Behance runs the Behance Creative Network , the Creative Jobs List, and develops knowledge, products, and services that help creative professionals make ideas happen. All information © Scott Belsky, Behance LLC