As a manager of a creative team, you know that it’s no easy job! Tracking progress, motivating your team, and finding the balance between guidance and leaving enough space for creativity is a challenging task. So how can you be hands-off, while still creating the structure and motivation needed for your team to do their best work?

We here at Surprise believe we have the answer for you, but it may not be what you think.

Creatives need the time and space to do what they do best… create!

You’re a great manager, which means you hired a great team. A team of creative people that bring diverse perspectives and are problem solvers by nature. You assembled the dream team – the hard part is over. But now what? You gotta let that dream team work their magic! 

And we can help with that. 

Not only does Surprise facilitate just the right amount of structure with daily Missions, but it allows you to check in on your amazing team and see everyone’s progress, without pinging them on Slack 50 times a day. Giving your team some much-needed time for creativity, while giving you your valuable time back. Surprise also has Reflections, a built-in feedback system, so you can stay ahead of issues and support your team in the areas they need it most. 

Bonus: The element of Surprise itself is magic for creative brains because it helps our brains solve problems. When we’re Surprised, we’re forced to make sense of the unexpected. This causes our brains to create new pathways, making connections to try to understand the unknown. Pretty cool, huh? 
Not only does Surprise force us to be in the moment, but it intensifies our emotions by 400%, enhancing our creative abilities and making your team of creatives, well, super-creatives.

Take it a step further with autonomy

In his TED Talk, The Puzzle of Motivation, former Al Gore speechwriter and New York Times bestselling author Daniel Pink, states that “there’s a mismatch between what science knows and what business does.” Oh, Daniel, we know! That’s why we created Surprise.

Pink makes the case that we need a new approach to work–a focus on three things: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. To do this the right way and get the most engagement, self-direction is much more effective than traditional management. Surprise provides an alternative way of management that supports giving your team a bit more autonomy. Daily Missions also provide an opportunity for your team to develop mastery in specific skills over time. This way, your team has the time, space, and resources needed for real innovation. And for propelling both themselves and each other, to success.

Rewards systems matter. In his talk, Pink cites a study by the U.S. Federal Reserve on workplace behavior: “As long as the task involved only mechanical skill, bonuses worked as they would be expected: the higher the pay, the better the performance. But once the task called for even ‘rudimentary cognitive skills’ a large reward ‘led to poorer performance.’“ This comes as no Surprise to us. Surprise’s variable rewards system was created to combat the issue of fixed rewards losing their effectiveness over time. The excitement of a Surprise Day is that you never know what day it will be! Bringing an exciting and engaging variable into your team’s workday.

Innovation nation

What makes Google an industry leader? Innovation. Pink describes the impact of one of Google’s most famous practices: giving employees the freedom to spend 20 percent of their time doing anything they want. Pink notes that this practice is so effective, that about half of the new products at Google in a particular year are birthed during this 20 percent time.

We feel a Mission comin’ on! 

How great would it be if you could give your team the Mission of doing their favorite things at work this week? Even if it was for 30 minutes each day? Imagine a world where we all did what we loved and were good at? Ok, while that might never be a reality *sigh*, using Surprise to facilitate each individual on your team doing what they do best, is a win for them, your team, and for the company! 
Motivate your creative team with the power of Surprise today!

Allie Demopoulos is a Content Copywriter at A writer and producer, she believes that humor is the greatest tool and that the best of anything–comedy, music, stories–are experienced in basements. When she’s not creating, you can find her in the electric streets of Manhattan, a place she feels lucky to call home.