Friday, March 12, 2010

Creative Leadership Capacities ... From the Connecting Creative Communities Summit

Steven Dahlberg, Director, International Centre for Creativity and Imagination, asks in the "Building Your Capacity: Creative Leadership in the Creative Sector" session at the Connecting Creative Communities Summit on March 11, 2010:
Creativity matters in all aspects of society, work and life. And it matters for how we lead. Creativity motivates people to do what they love and are good at. Likewise, as Teresa Amabile, director of research at Harvard Business School, and one of the leading creativity researchers, says: “When people are doing work that they love and they’re allowed to deeply engage in it – and when the work itself is valued and recognized – then creativity will flourish. Even in tough times.” Yet, sometimes our organizational cultures and practices get in the way of allowing creativity to be cultivated and expressed. Creativity also engages employees in meaningful work. Engaged employees lead to engaged audiences, customers and clients in our organizations. The Gallup Organization says: “Engaged employees [– that is, those who work with passion and feel a profound connection to their organization –] are far more likely to suggest or develop creative ways to improve management processes. They’re also far more likely to find creative ways to solve customer problems or to involve their customers in creative service innovations. Leaders who want to drive growth through innovation should first create an environment that welcomes new ideas – and should make engaging employees a key component of that strategy.” Gallup has also found that 71% of the workforce is not-engaged or actively disengaged in their work, meaning 71% of the workforce is either under performing or actively undermining their work. Therefore, we must ask ourselves:
  1. What do we do to help employees intentionally develop and apply their creativity?
  2. What does “creativity” mean to me as a leadership practice?
  3. How do we develop creativity in our employees … or, how do we help our employees imagine “what if, what else, why not”? What processes do we use to harness and apply more creative thinking, imagination and ideas in our organization? How do we engage our employees? How do we help them connect to their purpose? How do we motivate our employees to do what they love and are good at?
  4. What gets in the way and blocks creativity WITHIN our organization and its employees? What deliberate actions do we take to create a culture for creativity WITHIN our organization?

1 comment:

  1. An ancient Arabian axiom states that an army of Sheep lead by a Lion will defeat an army of lions lead by a sheep. If 100% of our workforce was fully engaged the push and pull on organizational structure would tear a company apart. I believe a Boss should keep creativity under control and be the Lion that leads his sheep to victory.