Bob Lieberman's Blog

Commentary and Tools For Empowering Change

Challenges Of Creative Leadership

Creating and sustaining an innovation culture challenges leaders in ways that can be uncomfortable if not overwhelming. That's because the policies, structures, and practices of our prevailing business culture teach, promote, and enforce linear thinking. The creativity that innovation requires is most definitely not a linear process, and it flies in the face of the established business order.

Creative leadership is radical because it challenges the status quo. But it is not revolutionary. It is simply the art of balancing production with exploration. Production is essential to innovation, of course, because that's how we get concrete results. But exploration is equally essential because it permits us to discover or imagine the results that will be of the most value.

An innovation culture presents five key challenges to leaders:
  1. It promotes activity whose ultimate value may not immediately be known
  2. It results in many failures and therefore requires structures and policies that encourage experimentation
  3. Truly unproductive activity must be redirected in a way that continues to open new doors
  4. The high volume of information about emerging tasks and ideas must be preserved and organized in order to serve the sometimes chaotic flow of creative energy
  5. The creative process must be understood and appreciated at a deep level in order to advocate effectively for a creative approach to work
As a guide to aspiring creative leaders, we've summarized these challenges in a short list, The Five Vowels Of Creative Leadership:
  • Accountability – Assessing qualitative progress that can lead to innovation
  • Environment – Supporting and encouraging people to think outside the box
  • Intervention – Taking catalytic action when work gets bogged down
  • Organization – Staying on top of the chaos
  • Understanding – Appreciating the value of the creative process
We've developed tools and techniques for addressing these challenges successfully, all based on our model of the creative process. We'd be happy to show you how they work and how they can help improve your business. Contact us today to learn more.