It’s a good thing many creative people are often cynics and eye-rollers. It’s their well-tuned B.S. detectors that make them effective communicators. But motivating cynics and eye-rollers in an industry full of B.S. is tough. How do you manage people who don’t like to be managed? Can a ship of pirates be turned into a navy?

While some of the answers are common sense, surprisingly most aren’t. As with most advertising insights, the best answers come from a deep understanding the target market–creative people.

Sourcing a wide variety of industry studies, Sullivan will show how to manage creative people and the whole creative process more effectively. You’ll leave the session with ideas on how to get more work and better work out of creative people in ways that actually build department morale.


  • Why holding meetings about ideas is a bad idea.
  • Being the “Devil’s Advocate” isn’t as effective as being the “Angel’s Advocate.”
  • Creatives don’t need to know how; they need to know why.
  • The difference between deadlines and meaningful urgency.
  • Things that motivate creatives. (Hint: money isn’t one of them.)
  • Motivating teams who work on difficult accounts.


  • Brand managers
  • Creative directors
  • Project managers


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Luke Sullivan

Author, speaker, and ad veteran available to recharge, reinvigorate, and refocus marketing, advertising, and branding firms.

I give a hugely energetic series of presentations on innovation, creativity, branding, and marketing. I spent 32 years in the trenches of advertising (at agencies like Martin, GSD&M, and Fallon) and I’ve put everything I learned into my book, Hey Whipple, Squeeze This. But for me nothing beats taking the message out and speaking to living breathing audiences at clients, agencies, and conferences. You can book me on the button below.