Monday, September 28, 2015

Three Elements to Harness Collective Creativity

A leadership development program implies 'doing things differently' as well as 'doing different things' at all leadership levels.

Creativity is exactly what distinguishes a deal made from the commodity. Observed in hundreds of intelligent breakthrough decisions, where leaders and organizations benefit from boldly informed moves, while other 'non-decisions' fail to deliver breakthrough results. The solution lies in channelization of employees' ideas on any particular aspect and makes them 'brainstorm' so that there are individual and collective outcomes that can lead to new technologies, solutions, or paths.

Leadership: Leadership is about art and science. The leadership exercises a key role in the careful planning of activities to build environments and cultures to foster creativity, and build the interdisciplinary nature of the team, to promote collective creativity while maintaining the high tension of the group to the new, the easy-going projects. But how do leaders, involve all people in creative thinking and actions? And how can you help improve the harvest of the creative seeds?  Leadership has a direct influence on the organizational culture, a leadership development program implies 'doing things differently' as well as 'doing different things' at all leadership levels and not just for those going through a formal leadership development program. Organizations should spend adequate time on clarifying these expectations as well as on being clear on what transformation/change chain of events sets in motion for the broader organization. It is about applied knowledge and capture wisdom. What has often proven to be successful is to customize an approach that addresses the unique development needs of each leader with real life situations rather than just "learning and development" constructs. There's a place for equipping with the fundamentals through teaching and development but to attain mastery requires continuous progression. Often businesses tend to focus on what the leader needs to do differently going forward, but not enough time in preparing the environment to receive the evolved leader, such as extending the development experience to allowing the leader to make different decisions given the new knowledge and insights they are busy gathering during the leadership journey, or does leaders find that old boundaries are still enforced that do not allow for new knowledge to be applied and hence the leaders energy is diverted towards rather maintaining the status quo because the alternative proves to be too difficult.

Authenticity: We seek to become intimate with Who We Are. Behind the eyes and within the physical being in which we dwell lies the connection to all things. Here you will find creativity and intuition. This disruptive innovation reveals what connects rather than separates. We are then mobilized to become conscious in all we do. The only requirement is a sincere dedication to do no harm and begin the discovery in earnest. Best of all, there are no gurus to follow as you will learn to lead yourself. It is only then your responsibility as to how and when you decide to take this journey. There are many ways to do this and the rewards await recognition. So the second half of the creativity equation belongs to the team member. People can be creative in the way they dress or act or even in working on projects that excite them. And that’s good. But the bottom line can’t be ignored and as a business leader, you do need to show some ROI over time. Additionally, some people are creative by nature and may thrive in a more free-flowing environment and some of their ideas may bear fruit. But that seems like scattering a bunch of seeds on the wind and seeing which ones germinate. Finally, some people value order and structure and are not creative by nature.

Failure: Creativity is utilizing both sides of the brain simultaneously -- creative + activity. Creativity and failure go hand and hand. Failure is certainly a signpost on the road to success. We need to look at them as lessons learned. In today's market creativity is important but also flexibility, innovation and acting fast are essential ingredients to success. And if we want creativity we must build in the acceptance, even the celebration of small, quick failures. Without the acceptance of failure, creativity and innovation will suffer. There is the belief that operates according to the trajectory of human progress and to be able to contribute to their professional effort. Innovations fail because folks fear innovation. Innovations succeed when failure is seen as a learning step to great success.

There is no silver bullet or standard processes for innovation management. The learning by experimenting through the actual situational exercise of leadership under real-world situations and challenges often provides the most effective learning and testing, tailor specific business needs, and ultimately build a highly creative organization.


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