While clients may believe (generally speaking) we should all raise our creativity game, they may or may not be talking about your firm. If they are, you have some work to do. If they're not, now may be the time to widen the gap between you and your "less creative" competitors. To know for sure, you should consider a self-assessment of your creative abilities. Here are 10 suggested questions to get you started:
(1) Do we believe creativity is a core value in our agency culture?
(2) Is passion and a track record for creativity something we seek in all our prospective employees?
(3) Do we believe that people can improve their creativity skills with the proper training?
(4) Do we have professional development offerings to nurture our talent and our creative development processes?
(5) Is creativity an important component of our performance/compensation reviews?
(6) Do we have internal recognition programs focused on creativity?
(7) Is our work as "creative" as it can be? (Don't just look at your award winning stuff, look at everything.)
(8) Do we demonstrate as much creativity with our current clients as we do to win new business?
(9) Can we honestly say we never blame our clients or their budgets for lackluster creativity?
(10) Do we bring unsolicited new ideas to our clients and continue to do so even if they repeatedly reject the initiatives?
Now, I'm not going to state that if you answered yes to at least 8 out of 10 questions, then you must be a brilliantly creative firm. I will say that you may not be one of the firms clients are complaining about, and it's likely you're well positioned to take it to the next level. Give it a try and add your own questions to the list.