Across the spring, creative leaders from more than 70 in-house creative departments joined us at CreativeExecs(r) Roundtable meetings to discuss defining and articulating the value proposition of in-house creative teams. These 70+ creative leaders represented:

  • nearly every major industry (retail, pharma, financial services, consumer goods, entertainment, higher education, healthcare, government contractors and hospitality),
  • companies and organizations of varying sizes and revenue bands, and
  • creative teams varying from less than 10 members to teams of more than 100 members.

The conversation was moderated by Cella Consultant Sue Wolski who will be conducting two follow-up Roundtable Replay webinars to present the findings and best practices that were revealed across this group of leaders. In advance of that webinar (registration information is available at the end of this blog post), I'd like to offer a preview of the presentation.

Preview of the Presentation

There's your mission statement (the department's purpose for existing) and vision statement (the goal state for your department; what the department will evolve to), and then there's the value proposition--an articulation of why your department best serves the mission for the company.

The purpose of the value proposition is not to have another 30-word statement that you and your team can memorize and spit out verbatim on request or to post on the wall, but rather for you, your team and your senior management to be able to quickly articulate in your own words why your group best serves the company's creative needs.

Creative departments are often looked to when it comes time to reduce costs. We're not cheap groups (beyond our staff, there's our equipment, software, and output that all add up), and often we are not "core" to the company's business, meaning we don't produce or sell the cogs, we support the people that do. For these reasons and more, creative leaders are often asked "would the business be better served by outsourcing creative?"

This outsourcing could be in the form of agencies, staffing providers, freelancers, or offshore capacity. And for many creative groups, it may be appropriate and best to "outsource" some of the creative work. What's most important is that the creative leader embraces the question and is part of determining the solution, because the minute the you indicate that you are not open to this potential outcome is the same minute you are no longer at the table helping determine what the best outcome is for the business--and your input and experience is imperative in that discussion.

The webinar will also discuss: what to include in a value proposition statement, why it's important to have one, categories of value, quantifying and qualifying your value proposition, and marketing your creative team.

About the CreativeExecs Roundtable(r) Series

Three times a year, Cella and The BOSS Group host 15 to 20 leaders of in-house creative departments in five metro areas (New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Atlanta and Dallas--we're adding Chicago this summer!) to discuss topics of importance to creative leaders. These topics are set each December via a poll of creative leaders in which we identify the challenges most pressing.

Our summer series, "Project Management and Time Tracking Technology," is set to kick off in mid-August and our fall series, "Moving from Order Taker to Strategic Partner" in mid-November. To learn more about these upcoming events--including how to register, please visit

Following the conclusion of each series, we host a webinar event to share an overview of the discussion and key points for the benefit of creative leaders who are not in the metro areas we visit or were unable to make our one of our in-person events.