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I’m in the process of restructuring my in-house creative department at work.  Management is starting to push for the new department policy manual and job descriptions…yeah, I’ll get right on that in all the free time I have  (please note sarcasm here, I know it doesn’t always translate to the blogosphere).

Jerry Maguire

Embrace the "Mission Statement" when restructuring your In-House Creative Department

Regardless of workload, it must happen so here I am at home, Monday night, drinking leftover weekend bubbly, rocking out to Robyn’s “Dancing on my Own” and writing the new mission statement a la Jerry Maguire.  Instead of sending it out to the company I think I’ll just blog about it – that would be the 2010 version of his mistake. Luckily I haven’t had THAT much bubbly so we’ll be fine.

I’m feeling especially inspired because of this fantastic blog In-House I.D. on the AIGA, the professional association for design.  They really nail the “second class” feeling that haunts in-house creative teams and the challenges of overcoming that notion.   It provided me with a great To Do List to guide me through this restructuring process.


  • Have a team meeting (discuss strengths and weaknesses and vision for the future; get buy in from everyone)
  • Write a Department Mission Statement (clear purpose and identity)
  • Create a Visual Identity (brand yourself)
  • Produce a Capabilities Brochure
  • Gather Case Studies of Past Successes (to present to management and clients)
  • Costs (show what they are and where they come from)
  • Draft a Self-Promotion Marketing Plan (Announcement, Launch Plans, Emails for management and past and perspective clients)

Another great AIGA post is Can In-House Design Departments Be Respectable which offered these words of wisdom “…treat your clients as if you had to land them yourself and as if they were free to use anybody they wanted. If you don’t, they’ll eventually end up with that freedom and you’ll be looking for a job.”

I know my greatest challenge through this restructuring process will be to delegate. As much as I want to do it all, and have the control and  credit that will come with it, I need to recognize that it is a massive undertaking and the more I can share the burden, the stronger the final product will be.

I did come up with a fantastic new idea tonight to improve internal communications (an ongoing challenge) and I’ve decided that our new office space should look creative. I think I’ll have a chat about paint colours with my boss tomorrow… either that or a little Show Me the Money!


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