The business of creative training

Patrick Collister

Within agencies, why are training budgets so unequally distributed? Industry figures two years ago indicated that only 9% of training funds were given over to the creatives. Most training is devoted to account management, with planning in number two position and finance in third.

In many ways creative people are responsible for this sorry state themselves. 'You can't train creativity', they say. 'Either you've got it or you haven't.' Not true. There is even a Chair in Creativity at Harvard University, so there is at least one professor out there who believes creativity can be taught and can be learned.


The first thing to do is to clarify what we mean by the word. Many people use 'creativity' to mean talent. A creative person is someone who can draw exceptionally well, or write wonderfully. And, certainly, artistic ability is one manifestation of creativity, but it is only one.