The Point: The use of a leader’s imagination or original ideas in the workplace has typically been shied away from, primarily because of the “artistic” nature prescribed and partly due to the unmanageable predictability for continuous repetition and outcomes (i.e., results!) But what if the lure of a changed tomorrow is perceived as better than the results generated today? In this post, we’ll take a look at the leadership challenge of creativity and just what you can do to accelerate your creativity as a leader with three (3) tips… Enjoy!
Management is Science… Leadership is Art
In the day-in/day-out running of your business, whether it be department/division/organization you might recognize the operation as running in status quo fashion. What was good enough yesterday, should be good enough for tomorrow, right? Wrong! Checking accomplishment boxes and maintaining your open-door policy (or better yet Management By Walking Around (MBWA) methodology could very well leave you wondering just how and when the operation got positioned squarely behind the proverbial 8-ball in the business game world of pool.
While creativity for leaders has long been seen as something focused on in startups or other disciplines (most notably academic fields such as anthropology and neuroscience), the need for consistent improved results requires a more expansive/diverse application of the topic. For example, look at your most recent project accomplishments and gage your execution capabilities and life-cycle timelines. A hindsight/post-mortem analysis typically leaves a leader recognizing results short of potential.
3 Tips to Increase Leadership Creativity
So if true potential is to be realized by the leader, what is the proper mindset and processes to be explored? What follows are 3 Tips to assist you (the leader) with increasing creativity.
Tip #1 – Generate Ideas
Ideas are all around you, but often rarely tapped or heard. Why? If you’re looking to generate creativity you need look no further than your stakeholders assisting you as you strive to achieve your goals. Interviewing stakeholders regarding what their ideas are for improvement, and tracking which ideas are backed (versus those that garner little/no support) can reveal sources and opportunities left untapped.
Tip #2 – Enable Collaboration
We often hear that places of business are high on teamwork and/or collaboration within. However common practice probably leaves stakeholders clinging to existing ways of doing business. When teams are allowed to pursue directions not congruent with traditional ways of accomplishing goals is when creativity flourishes.
Tip #3 – Diversify Perspective
When stakeholders from diverse disciplines, backgrounds, and areas of subject matter expertise creativity blossoms. Act on putting together cross-functional (those from across the organization) together on the next project to provide diverse perspective from their multi-vantage viewpoints.
In this post we’ve taken a look at the leadership challenge of creativity. While management can be considered a regulated science, leadership often calls for an artful application to overcome project obstacles. Generating ideas from stakeholders, enabling collaboration amongst team members, and diversifying perspective can generate the creativity “spark” needed to deliver future results.