Creative Leadership is a leadership technique for inspiring and sustaining creative work. It is based on the view that work is a cyclical process consisting of four steps:
Appreciate what is
Explore what could be
Challenge what should be
Produce what will be
This view has descriptive value for leaders because it provides a framework for understanding how work practices encourage or discourage creativity. It also has prescriptive value because it shows leaders what to do (and how to do it).
Though simply described, the process is not always easy to follow. Success requires development of a sense of balance, an instinct for flow, and a comprehensive repertoire.
Over time, and with earnest application, an aspiring creative leader will get to a point where the tools and techniques have become second nature. That is the point when one's focus must turn to developing the more subtle talents.
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.
Did I get your attention? Are you expecting something a little different now? Wondering how I'm going to get back to more serious topics?
I want you to pause, if you don't mind, and notice the quality of attention that you're giving me at this moment. You're not just listening to me, you're also scrutinizing me carefully! That's the best kind of attention there is. Without trying to flatter myself, it might be fair to call it rapt attention. And if you want to have influence, that's the gold standard.