Corporate

Adam Morgan Named to Adweek Creative 100

June 18, 2020

Creativity is the new productivity, and it’s never been more important than it is now. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to amplify all voices with creative tools, allowing everyone to unleash their creativity.

The Creative 100, independently named each year by the advertising trade publication Adweek, highlights the most interesting and innovative people in marketing, media, and culture, with impressive alumni like singer Billie Eilish and all-star athlete LeBron James. We’re proud to share that our very own Adam Morgan has been named to this year’s Creative 100. 

In his role as Executive Creative Director, Adam leads the creative execution for content and storytelling for our Digital Experience business. He’s spoken at Adobe MAX and other conferences, particularly about creative leadership. He also writes a Medium series called The Creative Machine and recently launched a webinar and podcast series called Real Creative Leadership. Last year, he published a book called Sorry Spock, Emotions Drive Business: Proving the Value of Creative Ideas with Science, which proves the value of creativity with neuroscience and deep studies to prove why creativity is actually better for businesses.

Adam’s manager Steve Gustavson, Chief Creative Director, Digital Experience, said he’s incredibly proud of Adam’s achievement and work at Adobe. Steve said: “I’ve been able to see so many of his contributions to the Adobe brand. Adam has become a sought-after partner to many throughout Adobe due to his ability to blend messaging acumen, content strategy, and storytelling. He’s architected some of our best stories, crafted our definitive voice and tone guidelines, and contributed to our brand narratives in a way that few others can. And outside our walls, he’s frequently presenting on creative leadership and has become a published author about the ROI of creativity. I’m beyond thrilled to see him recognized as one of the leading creative voices in our community.”

We caught up with Adam to congratulate him on this honor and understand how he thinks about creativity. 

Q: What does creativity look like to you? 

Adam: Creativity, if I distill it down to its essence, is making new connections. When you are coming up with a big idea, whether it’s a joke for a late night show or a new design, it’s really just taking all of the things that we have as a shared existence and making a new connection that hasn’t been made before between two things. That’s the essence of creativity: Finding the common threads and making new connections. How do you come up with a new homepage or new design or new headline? Find a new connection. That, to me, is creativity.

What does your creative process look like?

There is a very common process almost everyone uses for creativity. First, you have to inundate yourself and just read, study, and immerse yourself in the thing. Then, start making connections. There are so many exercises you can use to make new connections, and we do classes on how to find all those new connections. And then you just have to let it sit and walk away and let your subconscious brain work on it for a while. For me, creativity starts with your choice of chair. If you’re in a hard chair and it’s uncomfortable, you’re not going to get good ideas. But if you find a comfy seat and you’re in that relaxed state, then your subconscious will make a new connection. And that eureka moment is when you refine the idea and make it real.

What creative projects are you working on right now?

I just launched a new webinar and podcast series called Real Creative Leadership. When I would speak at MAX, creative directors would say, “I’m having this problem” or “I’m having that problem.” I’ve been collecting all these things that I talked to them about and I’ve organized it into a series of topics. In one session, I’ll speak on something like how to scale your team and talk about best practices, what we do, and how you can manage your team. Then the next week, I’ll bring in a creative leader from another big company and talk to them about how they deal with those issues, so people can see how it’s personalized.

It’s almost like getting a guidebook to being a creative leader. If someone’s a new creative director, how do you even start? We’ve focused so much on the craft – the craft of design, the craft of writing, the craft of videography – but once you’ve got the craft down, now what? How do I get that seat at the table? Now that I have a seat at the table, then what? How do I show a vision for my team? How do I strike change within my company? That’s my vision for this series. There’s so much opportunity at the leadership level to make a change through creativity, and I don’t think we’re tapping into it. 

Adam speaking at Adobe MAX in 2018.
Adam speaking at Adobe MAX in 2018.
Has working remotely due to COVID-19 impacted the work you do
 
We’re so lucky to be at Adobe. My life before COVID-19 was a day full of six to eight meetings every day. I was on video calls at the office, and now I take all those calls here from my home. It’s the same workflow, just with all of my team remote rather than half my team remote. For me it’s just trying to manage work and home life. How do I put a barrier and lock the door and focus? 
 
Do you have any advice for people hoping to channel their creativity
 
Start with the craft. Figure out how to brainstorm and come up with ideas fast. Learn how to design better, how to write better, and focus 100% on the craft. Study design, writing, and advertising over the years. Becoming a student of the craft is the #1 most important thing for beginners. Once you have that down, you can focus on creative leadership.