Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Embracing Feedback: The Catalyst for Creative Growth

6 July 2023 | 2 min read

Google tells me that 65% of employees want more feedback. I’m not sure how credible this statistic is, but it got me thinking…

It got me thinking about feedback, and specifically feedback in the creative sector.

If you are a sportsperson, musician, actor or dancer and get it wrong one day, you’ll know about it pretty fast. If you’re performing live, you’ll receive feedback immediately; if not, it’ll arrive as soon as you turn your phone on and you’re brave enough to check insta. But, get it right and the feedback will be equally fast, loud and clear in the opposite direction: crowds of diverse people coming together and enthusiastically conveying their collective appreciation must be unlike anything else.

Apart from the scale and immediacy, it’s not so different in architecture and design. Take New York’s Guggenheim Museum, which was critically panned when it opened in 1959. It was described as an “oversized hot-cross bun” and many contemporary artists signed a petition against its construction. Today, however, it is a much-loved icon and is widely regarded as an architectural gem.

This 360-degree transformation shows that feedback shouldn’t be blindly accepted. Neither should it be seen as the end of the matter. Instead, it should be regarded as part of a conversation – a catalyst for creative thinking, improvement and artistic expression. But, of course, that’s not to suggest it’s always fun to receive.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the creative sectors are bound by the inspirational characteristics of their most successful professionals. These people have the mental strength to absorb and learn from all types of feedback and the courage to regroup and put themselves back out there for more.

Feedback can be wonderful; it can also be extraordinarily challenging. But no matter where on the spectrum it comes, if we treat it as a catalyst for growth, we can use it as a powerful tool for personal and professional development.

Bryony Balmforth

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Julian Davies

Julian Davies

Managing Partner at Redfin

Managing partner and Chartered Accountant with 30+ years of experience in marketing, media, and creative industries. He leads the Redfin team, offering expert advice on growth and profitability. Former owner manager of an agency acquired by a listed group; his industry insights are second to none. Off duty, you might find him on the golf or tennis court, determined to master new tricks.
Shelley Watkin

Shelley Watkin

Client Finance Director at Redfin

A qualified Chartered Accountant with 20+ years of experience in the marketing services sector. During her 5+ years at Redfin, she served as Client Finance Director offering invaluable insights into strategic and commercial matters. Shelley has also assumed the role of Finance Director for various creative agencies, guiding them through successful sales processes. If she gets free time after managing her children’s busy schedules, she likes to chill out doing yoga and gardening.