Someone said to us recently ‘I don’t really see the connection between leadership and creativity.’ So do leaders need to be creative?
Leadership should involve bringing an edge to groups in which they are recognised as leaders. It is not just about getting things done - that’s management - it about going beyond the status quo, even though that may create disruption and disturbance.
More than ever before leaders need to be able to think creatively for all the reasons we already know so well - a fast changing and uncertain environment, the need to improve the way things work, the search for new ideas, new products, new approaches and new opportunities, or to keep your organisation or community progressive and effective.
One of the biggest barriers to creative thinking is experience - things that we have done and that have worked for us in the past. It isn’t wrong to act out of past experience but that same experience can also hold us in thrall when we need something new. Experience can become a massive block to thinking differently. Many experienced leaders are prisoner to their experience and unhelpfully hold up their organisations as a result.
Even creatives need creativity !
Even those who lead within the creative industries - design, fashion, the media, entertainment, branding, advertising and the like could do well to nurture their creativity. Research reveals that almost three quarters involved in creative industries who trade on their creativity continuously, and who need to sustain their creative ability, give little thought to how to develop and maintain it as their key resource.
Avoid the prison, discover Meta-Creativity
We have worked with many leaders, including many in the creative industries to develop, utilise and sustain their creativity through:
increasing their awareness of how creativity works within their own minds
increasing their understanding of the boundaries that they have to cross to escape being prisoners to their own experience
sharing the stimuli that others have used to catalyse their own creativity
recognising where and how to focus their creative efforts in their own work
maximising their use of others from diverse backgrounds to achieve creative results
understanding how to put a value on their own creative output
identifying ways of sustaining their creativity over a long time span