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Amid COVID-19, a creative advantage for remote working

Most marketing and public relations teams, as well as sales and development professionals, are now working in a remote or hybrid fashion. From giants like Google to various sizes of Maryland-based organizations, it is likely the distance work trend is a new norm.

A related marketing challenge is how to keep a creative edge and an effective team while working remotely. Creativity is more essential than ever for business growth and stability.

Dependable strengths

A means to gain a competitive creative advantage for a remote work group includes revised uses of existing tools. One opportunity for achieving creative teamwork is the use of the established concept of dependable strengths, a process initially developed at the University of Washington to assist individuals to find the career paths that fit their personal strengths and sources of happiness for lifelong success.

Teams can also benefit from learning this method, thanks to a web-based customized program offered by the experienced facilitators who trained with the Center for Dependable Strengths. I used this concept successfully in an in-person classroom setting a few years back to help a 15-member higher education marketing team learn how to interact more effectively.

Identifying what tasks people in your group like doing the most and are additionally good at — their dependable strengths — means you’ll likely realize better and more creative group performance and work product.

Facilitator Anne Scholl-Fiedler conducted the course for my team, adapting the training for enjoyable and valuable teamwork utilization with lasting results. Anne helped introduce the dependable strengths concept to UMBC, Stevenson University, and now Frederick Community College for their respective campus career centers.

But beyond higher education uses, this distinctive training program can be very customized. Incorporating a dependable strengths process for a marketing or development creative team retreat is highly beneficial and has been adapted by the Center of Dependable Strengths,, for both in-person to online learning.

Rethink LinkedIn

Social media star LinkedIn deserves a second look for inexpensive and 24-7 creativity support. No longer just a job recruiting tool, LinkedIn works well for organizations and individuals to stay in touch with clients and prospects.

A creative use of this application, finding and sharing information relevant to clients (without acting too “sales forward”) is an effective communications approach. LinkedIn also allows you to follow thought leaders and areas of your own and group interest.

For example, do you want to find out what is the latest advertising trend? Follow AdWeek’s LI page. You’ll start to receive posts from AdAge. Also, by posting your own short comments to the organizations or individuals you follow, you can intelligently (and subtly) stay in touch and offer creative ideas.

I regularly find articles on the Internet relevant to my clients and share the updates with them via LI. Your posts should be infrequent but highly focused.

LI is good at sending you leads on anniversary dates, job changes and promotions of the people you follow. You can send a customized and friendly “congrats” and you’ll likely get a “thanks” back.

One important caveat is to stay away from posting anything deemed political or “FaceBook-personal.” People may block your future posts. Your photo and LI site messages are part of your brand, so be sure to spend the time to look polished, up-to-date, and professional.

Since LI tools change and improve constantly, your interest in ongoing training may be via self-taught intervals or through LI professional group or individual training consultants. Online training LI courses are offered through the new LinkedIn Learning Hub platform and even new LI newsletters for creative skills building.  Either way, the diverse uses of the LinkedIn social media platform will be demonstrable.

Both the dependable strengths process and careful use of LinkedIn provide valuable opportunities to gain distinctive creative advantages for individuals and teams in strengthening their business or organizational goals.

Glenda LeGendre is principal of Strategic Marketing & Communications and can be reached at [email protected]