Companies that embrace creativity outperform peers and competitors on key business performance indicators, including revenue growth, market share and talent acquisition, according to a recent study by Adobe. These companies enjoy a high-performance working environment, driven by progressive leaders and managers who provide processes, methods and funding to back creative initiatives.
Is this true of your company? If not, what can you do as a leader to encourage creativity in your workplace? Here are some principles and practices I use to help clients foster creativity and innovation at work.
Robert Altman, on accepting an Honorary Academy Award for film direction, said, “The role of the director is to create a space where the actors and actresses can become more than they’ve ever been before, more than they’ve dreamed of being.”
I once had a client who directed our team just like Robert Altman. I’ve never worked so hard in my life, nor felt so exhilarated. “Bob” was an executive at a global technology company and we were part of a team working on a leadership development project that was challenging in complexity and scope. Bob provided the resources we needed and a sense of humor and encouragement throughout the process. He wisely knew when to lead, follow or get out of the way, and set the example for us to do the same. His good-natured humor made it safe to speak candidly without worrying about politics, and we felt comfortable strategizing, contributing ideas and critiquing. We kept drilling down, mining what I call “group gold” to tap into the brilliance that each of us brought to the table, to produce extraordinary results. This only happens through taking concepts through several iterations to fully hone them, and it’s hard work....
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