We need leaders that are able to change the future. Creative leaders. The paradox with these leaders is that those that seem to be best at shaping the future are all firmly rooted in the now. These leaders really know how to connect to what is happening in the present, and can feel and use how it affects them on a deeper personal level. They are not just reacting on impulses; they are giving true answers to themselves and to the people around them, continuously. This ability goes by many names, call it being in the here and now, call it Mindfulness, Connected or Aligned. We prefer to simply call it Presence.
The terms creative leadership and innovation leadership are being used more and more. Creative qualities in leaders are nowadays greatly desired, say research surveys: Lack of creativity is seen as the most serious shortcoming in new hires reports the Economist’s Global Talent Index Report 2012 and creativity is seen as the most important leadership quality in a 2012 study of IBM under over 1,500 CEO’s. So, what is Creative Leadership and what is sparking this interest in it?
Founders of new companies have a lot on their plate. With efforts and energies spread in so many different directions, it can be easy to lose sight of a very important role – being a good leader for your team. In this article, entrepreneur Sameer Bhatia lists a few ways you can set a good example and set your company up for success.
For those of you who read my articles on a regular basis, you will know that I tend to focus on driving innovative activities and cultures within large, corporate organizations. Today however, I would like to focus on the value of innovation to growing, mid-market companies. For the purposes of this article I will consider mid-market companies as anywhere from 300 – 3,000 employees. This is just an arbitrary number, but it provides context for our discussion.
Stanford Prof. Tina Seelig discusses how motivation and experimentation are essential for creativity. She also shows how true problem-solvers and entrepreneurs utilize whatever is within reach to overcome obstacles, and then quickly prototype, rather than let challenges stand in the way of a solution.
Have you seen this equation: innovative = creative? Novelty always comes from “outside the box,” right? It’s a land of confusion to many, who then conclude they are just not the creative type. As a result, organizations lose out because being innovative is but one of a myriad of ways to being creative. All people can be creative—in their own way.
You love your employees, and, obviously, you think they do awesome work, or else you probably wouldn’t have hired them. Yet, do you ever find yourself wishing they could become a little bit more innovative? After all, the companies that are thriving in today’s competitive marketplace are also some of the most creative.
Every organization wants to be thought of as “innovative” and although cliché, there is something said about thinking outside of the box to help you get there. However, simply asking your employees to think outside of the box at your next internal planning session or brainstorm meeting may not be enough to get to those game-changing ideas. To get unique solutions, you need to look at things in new light. The following seven strategies are tactics that will help you take an outside-in approach to innovation, to help you come up with unexpected, richer solutions.
Though companies invest into innovation they like results less and less. There seems to be a glass ceiling for driving innovation, which neither new tools and processes nor innovation consultants seem to crack. It is time to face the elephant in the room: company culture and its impact on innovation performance. Top management needs to learn deal with it. Then company culture will become a driver of innovation rather than getting in the way.
Thinking like a designer can transform the way you approach the world when imagining and creating new solutions for the future. It’s about being aware of the world around you, believing that you play a role in shaping that world, and taking action toward a more desirable future. In my new book ‘The Innovation Expedition’ I describe the five characteristics necessary to think like a designer.
Innovation isn’t a natural mindset for most leaders—or for the companies they work for—but the good news is that innovation can be learned. Innovator’s Accelerator is a new online learning program created by the world’s leading innovation experts—Clayton Christensen, Jeff Dyer, and Hal Gregersen—that gives emerging leaders the tools and techniques they need to become innovators.
From our talks with innovation management practitioners and business executives it seems that not many organizations have a well-defined and integrated innovation strategy. To find out more about how to go about creating and executing such a strategy, we spoke to Wouter Koetzier and Christopher Schorling at Acceture who encourage a very pragmatic and execution-oriented approach.
In every organization you have anti-innovators. They are stuck in their habits; are ignorant the world is changing fast and think that they have nothing to fear. Actually, they are quite human. We all love our habits. Gijs van Wulfen explains how to get them motivated.
Big, crazy, breakthrough ideas seem wonderful when you are dreaming them up, but frightening when it comes time to implement them. Fortunately, the field personal development has a technique that you can apply: personal development planning (PDP). Jeffrey Baumgartner explains how to implement this approach to your innovation process.
Are you in a “more of the same mode” in your innovation work? In this article Susanna Bill uses two real-life examples to remind us of the need to see beyond given truths. We need to keep our eyes and ears open for the triggers presented by others. She also returns to a “golden-oldie” exercise to put ourselves off balance and open up our thinking for new opportunities.