“Creativity is the single most important leadership competency for enterprises seeking a path through the complexities facing them” – IBM CEO Survey, 2010
Whether you choose to navigate the treacherous terrain to reach the mountain top or have to find a solution for a business problem, being open to new ideas and processes is the ideal way to achieve your objectives. The above statement from IBM is a true representation of the challenges being faced by today’s business leaders.
As consumers demand a sea of innovation to satisfy their evolving needs, companies need to be constantly assessing their landscape to produce creative and novel solutions for their discerning audience. However, with the pressures of multi-tasking, shifting priorities and time constraints, these business leaders struggle to find the time to fully assess the situation and identify the optimum solution. Developing these creative competencies in leaders is critical for the organisation to maintain its competitive advantage, and for the leader to appear capable of steering the team to success.
What do they look like?
If we consider some of the most popular household brands, it is clear to see the impact they have made on a global scale and how they permanently changed our behaviours. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has produced the world’s largest online bookstore and most popular retail site, while Starbucks Jim Donald made the morning coffee run an established way of life for commuters everywhere. Their rationale was to satisfy a basic need and surround themselves with the best resources to achieve their goals.
The leadership style of these entrepreneurs has produced a winning environment, where their team’s contributions and participation are as important as their own. At a minimum, the following creative competencies should be regarded as a pre-requisite for success:
- Collaborative – encourage and seek input from all team members, allow them to build relationships and identify the most appropriate solutions to their dilemmas.
- Sourcing – ability to establish a framework to recognise and attract the best individuals to help execute your vision.
- Personalised – drawing from your own experiences to inspire, motivate and provide insights to help your team become more engaged and productive.
- Resourceful – recognise the need to gather and assemble the right tools, expertise and resources to enable staff to operate efficiently and to facilitate their personal development.
- Imaging – ability to assess data and communicate its impact in a clear and concise way to achieve buy-in from the relevant parties.
- Adaptive – develop an inquisitive mindset to challenge, question and explore alternatives to the existing status quo.
Benefits, personal and organisational
It has become essential for organisations to build creativity into their corporate culture to remain competitive and achieve corporate growth amid a climate of constant evolution. They cannot afford to resist change but must embrace it, and need strong leaders to take on this challenge. These leaders should strive to deliver a highly engaged workforce producing “out of the box” thinking, which is acknowledged and rewarded in a structured way. Human Resources also have their part to play in establishing such a process to ensure the clear tracking, organising and executing of ideas.
You can dare to dream big without the fear of failure, providing that you have mastered your creative competencies successfully. If you need advice or guidance in developing these skills, please contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org or 0415 984877.