Creativity is one of the most important qualities in a leader.
Creative leadership drives productivity and fosters success in a company.
Creativity itself is the abandonment of rigid structures, a very desirable trait for individuals in leadership positions to have in a corporate setting.
Creative leaders have the ability to look at things in new ways and solve problems by seeing things others don’t.
The role of creativity in leadership is vital to any organization’s survival in the ever-changing business and cultural climate that exists today.
There is a litany of advantages to creative leadership including; problem solving, achieving growth, fostering a positive workplace mentality, and finding unlikely perspectives within the business. Let’s take a look at each of these!
New Types of Problem Solving
Creative leadership helps companies by opening up new opportunities for problem solving and growth. New perspectives on problems from a creative approach can lead to new and previously unheard-of solutions.
When leaders approach goals from a creative point of view, they gain the ability to reach them more easily. A creative leader sees unique paths to success. Whether it is how to increase profit or expand product offerings, the creative leader has the ability to map out a path to reach new levels of success that other leaders within the company can’t see.
Fostering a Positive Workplace Mentality
As companies grow and change over time staff can often feel ostracized or forgotten. Creative leadership presents a number of opportunities to remedy this mindset by implementing non-traditional techniques and ideas to include people and teams in the company’s success.
A creative leader might suggest having employees brainstorm ideas from their point of view, instead of taking ideas from the top. Employees don’t always have the same information as management, so seeing problems or innovating ideas from within could lead to new or profound ideas and information to help form solutions to problems.
Finding Unlikely Perspectives
In order to thrive, a company must grow, adapt, and create its own path to success. Creative leaders embrace unlikely and unpopular viewpoints. Unlikely perspectives allow for new and exciting avenues to be revealed, which can help the company thrive and grow.
Tips for Growing as a Creative Leader
As any company grows, leaders spend more time on managing the business and can miss out on chances to be a creative leader to their team. Here are a few tips to become a more creative leader in a busy, thriving workplace.
#1. Continue to Educate Yourself
Continued learning is one of the most effective steps to take toward becoming a creative leader. Educational resources range from single articles to full-blown courses for individuals in leadership positions that teach strategies for creative leadership in the workplace.
Leaders should also look to other individuals with experience when learning about leadership and management. Employees and other individuals in similar positions are fantastic resources for learning how to be a better and more creative leader.
#2. Rely on the Team and Allow Them to Grow
A team can be an extension of its creative leader by providing their ideas and insights into day-to-day decision making and problem solving. Providing autonomy and some decision-making power to a team allows their creative leadership skills to thrive. By relying on a team, a creative leader has more time and energy to focus on the bigger picture goals and ideas.
#3. Develop Thought Leadership
Building a reputation as an expert goes a long way for building trust as a creative leader. According to the Harvard Business Review’s book Creative Confidence, communicating innovative ideas and documenting and sharing their evolution in search of new insights can communicate your thought processes to others.
By providing creative leadership expertise, you naturally set yourself apart as an innovative thought leader in your field.
Good strategies to develop thought leadership in your industry is to host webinars, speak at industry events, and join industry roundtables to share knowledge and be an inspiration to others as a creative leader. Share insights on LinkedIn and other social media channels along with creating content on your website and other online publications. Creative leaders should also seek to surround themselves with other high-level creative leaders.
#4. Take Scheduled Time to be Creative
Every creative leader needs time to clear their mind, reflect, and be creative. Creative leaders need to focus on big-picture ideas and reflect on what put them there in the first place: their creative vision. Quiet time exercising, being outdoors, meditating, and doing activities that quiet the mind can wipe the slate clean. In turn, this allows for time and clarity outside the busy day of running a company.
#5. Have Fun
Having fun with your company team and industry peers creates an open, unstructured atmosphere that can spark creativity. Relaxing and enjoying activities with like-minded people leads to energized conversations and open-forum brainstorming. Communicating in an unstructured environment outside of the workplace gets your mind off the daily grind and can lead to higher productivity with employees and peers. The creative vibe and energy that shines from a creative leader inspires the people around them.
Creativity has always been at the heart of business, but until now it hasn’t been considered an essential skill … likely because creativity was considered ‘unmanageable’—too elusive to pin down – or because concentrating on it produced a less immediate payoff.