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How to lead a creative business for innovation and growth

Being a design agency leader and manager is a tough job. Being inspirational is not an option, it’s mandatory. You need to deliver inspired work, on budget, to order.

True business creativity changes perceptions, drives innovation and makes money. So creating a culture of innovation is key to running and expanding a successful creative business.

Not only does innovation create new products, growth, and profitability, it also harnesses employee enthusiasm and pride. Most importantly, it creates a positive cycle of success and optimism within the company.

The stakes riding on getting it right are higher for design agencies than for most other businesses. To survive and thrive, implementing a creative culture is essential. In a world of accelerating global competition, ever-changing technology and radical changes to employee expectations, businesses must be able to successfully innovate and deliver new ideas fast.

This workshop, with leadership consultant Greg Orme, will introduce a clear leadership framework that you can follow to keep your agency both creative and commercial. To create a culture of innovation in your design business, you may need to break the rules of traditional management, because standard models usually don’t work in creative companies.

At this session you’ll find out how to harness creativity effectively as a leader, and use it to its full potential. Find out how to set off the initial spark that will capture your team’s imagination and snowball into a creative culture.

You’ll find out:
  • How to break the management rules and catalyse creativity.
  • How to empower staff without losing control.
  • How to foster an ideas culture.
  • How to stay inspired and inspire those around you.
  • How great design agency leaders do it.
What you will leave with:
  • The ability to reflect, and develop your own management style.
  • Insight into the role leaders and managers play in a creative business, and the creative process.
  • An awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses in the eyes of others.
  • Greater resilience to cope with the creative tensions and paradoxes of agency leadership.
  • More confidence in your management approach, having compared notes with other design leaders in a non-intimidating environment.
  • Easy-to-remember models for effective leadership.
  • A “to do” list to develop your own unique leadership style, purpose and values.
  • Strategies to develop in your team and business.
The benefits of business creativity:
  • Increased creativity is compelling to your clients.
  • Higher profits: businesses which innovate outperform their rivals.
  • Faster growth: 80% of leaders identify innovation as a vital part of business development.
  • Increase staff satisfaction: turnover in creative companies is lower.
  • Plus: Every attendee will receive a copy of Greg’s book ‘The Spark: How to Ignite and Lead Business Creativity’.
Delegate feedback:

“A great way to reflect on what is needed in your business and yourself, especially by listening to others.” Wendy Bebbington, Creative Director, Newenglish Design

“Thoroughly valuable, highly interactive, well recommended.” Phil Robinson, Assistant Creative Director, Proctor & Stevenson

“An enjoyable and entertaining workshop with good insights into an often complex industry where culture and business requirements may well clash.” Nick, Client Services Director, SampsonMay

“It has provided much food for thought and will have an impact on our strategy” Paul, Managing Director, Cohesion Marketing by Design


About: Greg Orme

Greg helps creative agencies to achieve transformational results. He works with senior executives changing organisations and developing inspiring leadership – often in the crucial periods prior to trade sale or post acquisition.

He specialises in cultures which require creativity and innovation. Recently Greg has worked on organisational strategy, culture and leadership development with the agencies Ogilvy & Mather, Syzygy, Isobar, AKQA, Freestyle Interactive and Specialmoves. He’s also worked with Sky, Virgin Media, Aardman Animation, International Olympic Committee, The World Economic Forum and Shine Group.

Greg connects with clients through his own creative business consultancy Kirkbright, and as an Associate of Ashridge Business School. Prior to this he was the CEO of London Business School’s Centre for Creative Business. Greg is writing a book about creative business leadership (Pearson’s FT Publishing) in which culture plays a central part. You can read Greg’s blog on “Inspiring Leadership, Strategy & Change” at


Available as a half-day in-house session for a group of 6 or more. Prices per person:

  • Standard rate £405+vat (£486)
  • DBA members £260+vat (£312)

We are able to offer the following discount structure to the standard ticket price, based on the numbers attending the session:

  • 8-10 people – 5% discount
  • 11+ people – 10% discount

To discuss availability, please contact us at or call 020 7251 9229.

All DBA events and training courses are subject to standard terms and conditions which can be read in full here.

Image credits: © Boboling


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