Adam Hill, MD of Creativehill, was distraught that his childhood dream of becoming James Bond was unachievable. Instead, he became a designer, and found an entirely different dream to fulfil. He explains to BQ just what’s so great about running your own business – tidily, of course.
As MD of the company it's my responsibility to keep the cogs turning, I like to get involved with the clients and be in control of their project from start to finish. If I can understand their passion from the outset it makes it easier as a team to deliver and exceed their expectations.
What is it the company does? - We are a creative design studio, we work with businesses to strategise and communicate with their target markets and provide creative, digital & print solutions to a range of sectors all over the world.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on? - I would like to think I was always destined to form my own studio, I started out in television and media and fell into the world of advertising from that. Over a few years I did some of the design circuit before setting up Creativehill as an all encompassing agency.
What do you believe makes a great leader? - In order to keep a functioning studio a great leader needs to be an exceptional manager of not only time, but staff. They also need to handle a magnitude of job roles and responsibilities, a kind of "man behind the curtain" from the Wizard of Oz.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position? - Detaching from my emotions. As a designer you find yourself using a personal skill-set, artistic style and environmental influences in the work that is produced, sometimes this comes with the penalty of a personal attachment. The hardest thing is to step back and remove these ties as, ultimately, it's the customer’s decision.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job? - There was a time when, day or night, I found myself working. I ended up running myself into the ground. It's nice to get out and socialise, see the world and relax; it lends a fresh perspective to any problem.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? - James Bond! Turns out you need a solid military career, no attachments and a face like Daniel Craig, It all sounded very difficult. I enjoyed making things as a child so if I couldn't save the world, becoming a designer was the next best thing.
Any pet hates in the workplace? - What do you do about them? - Untidiness! I like to think I have a cutting edge solutions company that prides itself on image and the latest technologies. That statement goes completely out the window when there are papers lying around on a workspace. We live in a digital world, let's embrace it!
Where do you see the company in five years time? - Doing what we are doing now, a little older and a little wiser but still fundamentally a great design studio. Having loads of staff and a big office doesn't interest me; I want Creativehill to be good at what it does but more importantly be known for it, the rest will follow.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader? - You have nothing but time so don't jump the gun, make sure you have a path in your head and stick to it. Some businesses get pulled in and adapt as they grow - have a business plan and if your research and legwork is correct, trust everything will work out.