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Book of the month: Herding Tigers: Be the Leader That Creative People Need - Todd Henry

How to manage teams made up of creative people? This is the question that Todd Henry attempts to answer in this book, drawing on his experience as a business consultant.
2 min
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April 12, 2022

Todd Henry is himself a former creative business consultant. In this work, he shares the lessons he has learned from his years of experience in the field. The author highlights solutions to create a conducive corporate culture for managers in charge of creative teams. It puts forward a thesis around the way of leading by advocating influence rather than control.

“Today, there are many books on leadership that focus on a particular ecosystem. Here, we read facts close to the field, more precise, more detailed, more what we experience on a daily basis rather than the concepts we usually read. »

– David Noreau, product leader

A t-shirt seen by the author in a Disney World souvenir shop. According to Todd Henry, it represents the analogy of what is expected of managers.

Todd Henry’s work stands out due to the focus he has chosen. Indeed, he collected testimonies from different companies to understand their internal processes. The tone always remains pleasant, light and accessible despite the depth. Todd Henry reminds us through his writing not to take for granted that we are in a balanced team. So whether one is a leader or a creative, it paints the picture of what this entails for both parties.

“A reassuring read because the book begins by accurately expressing the incredible challenges and strengths of a creative team. It’s like a hand on the shoulder for the construction leader. »

– David Noreau, product leader

What lessons can we learn from this?

Provides nuance to many preconceptions about creatives – No, creatives do not seek absolute freedom. Yes, creatives care about business issues and revenue.
Provides tools to assess the state of the situation, then solutions to implement concretely.
Covers the complete journey, from “moving from creative self to leader,” from building a team to nurturing one’s enthusiasm despite the passing years.

“A billion small, intangible gestures are brought to light with a simplicity and acuity that I have rarely read. The book focuses specifically on the case of creative teams compared to other leadership books with a tighter vision. »

– David Noreau, product leader

An inspiring quote from the book

“Trust is the primary currency of creative teams”

“As the keeper of the flame, and you have to diligently tie what the team is doing to why it is doing it. »

Who do you recommend Herding tigers: Be the leader that creative people need

When we think creative, we think artists, designers, but it is a state of mind, a model of thinking that extends well beyond these artisans.

So it’s a book that I would include in my “leadership kit” for just about any manager. Obviously, the leaders of creative teams, those who collaborate closely with such teams or even those who are part of them will feel directly challenged.

Photo de David Noreau
David Noreau

On dit souvent que les designers ont l’œil pour les détails. C’est le cas de David, pour qui la conception graphique n'a plus de secrets. Titulaire d’un baccalauréat en design graphique de l’Université Laval, David évolue au sein de Libéo depuis plus de six ans. Il a participé à la conception de dizaines de projets numériques.

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