Cultivating a Creative Culture: Justin Dauer

Rating: 4 / 5

Justin Dauer’s Cultivating a Creative Culture is a small but mighty professional self-help book focused on helping leaders develop an environment that allows for creativity to flow and on helping individual contributors find environments that will fully develop their creativity.

Cultivating a Creative Culture, Justin Dauer

Thank you to JKS Communications for sending me a free copy of this book!

Justin Dauer is a technical designer and advocate of the need for the right environment when working creatively. He manages a group of front-end designers who need space and inspiration to do their best work, and he’s passionate about creating that space for them.

Dauer finds value in, well… cultivating a creative culture, and this book provides actionable ideas for both leaders and individual contributors to get the best work out into the world.

My Thoughts

As a young professional, I’m always looking to improve myself and make room for growth. Understanding how to succeed, and how to help others succeed, is a pivotal skill for anyone, but particularly for managers and hopeful leaders. Cultivating a Creative Culture is the perfect book for the busy business person who doesn’t have a lot of time to sink into self-advancement but still wants to make a difference. With actionable suggestions and a very digestible 70 pages, this book packs a punch.

Cultivating a Creative Culture is the perfect mix of big picture and minute details. Dauer discusses the theory behind his strategy – the big picture – and then provides tangible suggestions for making that happen. While this book is geared more toward the management level and individual contributors with flexibility in their positions, it can also inspire traditional individual contributors to alter their environments in whatever way possible to do their best work. He also provides helpful suggestions on finding the right cultural fit when looking for a new job.

While Dauer is very encouraging of an open, honest, and flexible workplace, he doesn’t necessarily take into account the privilege that comes with the flexibility to “find the right cultural fit.” One idea he discusses is going into a first day and, if you know immediately that the culture isn’t a fit, quitting that day. While this isn’t necessarily an idea I disagree with, it just isn’t feasible for so many people. Quitting a job is a luxury; being picky about the culture of a job is a luxury. All of that to say, take his suggestions with a grain of salt and fit them into your life as best, or as much as, you can.

Ultimately, I found Cultivating a Creative Culture valuable. Dauer has some really interesting and innovative ideas about honing in on employee happiness and creativity that can be applied to anyone – in any industry and in any role. At 70 pages, it does a great job of getting to the point and getting actionable ideas out into the world. I think this is a good starting place for professionals looking to think differently about their work environment or improve their leadership capabilities.


Thanks so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on Cultivating a Creative Culture. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!

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