Creativity and Leadership
Creative Leadership - The Leading Edge
As a leader, how can I encourage networks of conversations within my organisation that go from top to bottom and back up again in a continuous feedback loop?
The Creative Leader
When we hear the word leadership it is often swiftly followed by the words vision, goal and mission.
There is an expectation that leaders should have a firm grip on where they and the organisation are going.
It is assumed they will lead from the front and by example.
This is certainly one way to lead.
However, we are discovering that the modern world is no longer as predictable as we might like and is looking more like a living organism than a machine.
Networking through the Internet
In the internet-connected global village, the world is quickly becoming a huge system that spreads information, values, ideas and beliefs widely and instantaneously.
As a result, the human community is becoming a network of conversations.
This network involves multiple feedback loops that is resulting in a rapid spreading and creation of new cultures.
Research on learning in Palo Alto about how learning takes place in an organization concluded that:
"The most powerful organisational learning and collective knowledge sharing grows through informal relationships and personal networks via working conversations in communities of practice."
This is much like evolution
Living systems evolve randomly as organisms grow and interact with the environment.
When there is an obstacle or a breakdown in normal functions a living system will try and adapt and new forms will emerge.
This is how creative evolution has led to us humans.
However we humans are in a different position than any other evolving form in that we are conscious beings who can choose and adapt our behaviour by design.
We create value systems out of our feelings and thoughts and then create symbols to represent ideas that lead to beliefs about the world and each other.
The monetary system, capitalism and modern corporate organisations are an example of these 'realised' systems that have emerged through the actions of our conscious design.
However, when something is designed and replicated it can become rigid and resistant to change.
It can also exclude and even prohibit evolution which relies on the random emergence of new forms.
If an organisation is driven by conscious design and specificity it may become inflexible and unable to adapt to a changing, volatile marketplace.
If it is too reliant on random emergence it may lose efficiency.
So, the challenge for a modern leader?
To find a creative balance between design and random emergence.
The Creative Leader
Creative leaders have developed a capacity to think with their 'whole' brain - all quadrants, Left and Right.
- They can formulate a 'big picture' vision, communicate it well and then lead by example.
- They can facilitate the emergence of new ideas and cultures within the organisation and decide which would help the organisation to grow and which would be too disruptive.
- They understand how people are creative, how human networks emerge and how systems grow through behavioural contagion and imitation.
This would be challenging if not impossible for one person to do alone and therefore would require leadership to be delegated.
Creative leaders can intelligently and confidently distribute leadership.
Creation of an Invisible Leader
Creative leadership means creating a culture whereby visions and goals of the leader are held by the workforce, rather than the leader constantly giving directions.
In other words, creative leaders create an 'Invisible Leader' within each member of their teams.
This means the creative leader encourages networks of conversations within the organisation that go from top to bottom and back up again in a continuous feedback loop.
Everyone owns the leadership vision and everyone has an input at some level. All serve a common purpose and a network of trust and shared commitment emerges.
Having created and facilitated its emergence the creative leader is an integral part of the organisational network, both embedded and also with an overview and outside perspective.
Creative leadership is being able to adapt and respond to what emerges in every moment for the good of the whole.
Creativity and Innovation Training
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for anyone working with
Creativity and Leadership Issues
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Jayne White - Projects & Development Manager - J&K Confectionery
"The course has been a great help over the last few weeks and I have now seen a decline in interruptions throughout the day. I came back from London really motivated. I just now need to learn how to deal with stressed out GP's!"
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