Monday, June 01, 2009

Creative Leadership For Tough Times

Creative leaders can see the missing pieces of the puzzle Surely we just need good strong Leadership in tough times not 'airy fairy' Creative Leadership? If you share this view then I think we have our wires crossed already. Let me explain.

In the current economic climate we do need strong (or should I say bold) Leaders but traditional Leaders (and I include those who are up to date with such concepts as transformational and situational leadership here) often have a Leadership toolbox that is comprehensive but perhaps identical to those carried around by other Leaders. So if we all have the same tools and we all operate in the same marketplace then we still have a stalemate.

And now for the Creativity bit. I am not suggesting that our bold Leaders walk around with an armful of creative techniques and nothing else, just that they should supplement their Leadership toolbox with a selection of techniques that provide alternative ways of analysing and solving problems, decision making, planning and communicating. Leaders then have a larger repertoire of business tools at their disposal from which they can select the most appropriate and most effective.

But why are Creative techniques particularly good for the tough economic climate that we are now faced with? In short they can:
  • Provide competitive advantage as their usage often relies on tacit knowledge
  • Are more likely to unearth solutions that no one else has thought of or tried
  • Allow Leaders more time to focus on real business issues - these techniques can save time
  • Permit greater buy in from colleagues and employees and thus less resistance to change
  • Build intrinsic motivation amongst the workforce

Even in highly regulated industries such as Financial Services, Leaders can enhance their capability in this way. Remember it is only the outputs of your processes that may be regulated. Internally there are usually alternative ways of doing things!

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