Issues in Leadership
When an idea hits someone and he produces something of value from it, he becomes a creative person. A creative person does not stop at one success, he follows it up with more novel ideas and products. Creativity is both a core competency of employees and a competitive advantage of the company. A corporate culture with free-thinkers, risk-takers, and continuous learners, with calculated allowance for failures, open communication lines, and a large dose of confidence and respect for one another has all the elements needed to cultivate a climate of creativity.
There are a lot of ways a CEO with resources for Research and Development may build a climate of creativity. First, he must get every one who has a stake in R&D to join in the discussions and from whom he can count on for all kinds of ideas in the brainstorming. It is very important for the CEO not to spare anyone, for he can never tell where the best idea may come from. Second, he must communicate to the members of his team the current needs or concerns of the R&D. He must ensure that every point he wants to make is understood by everyone, particularly the objectives and what are expected of them. Third, he must keep the discussions flowing, pick each other’s brains and generate all the ideas that come to the mind of every one in the group. The CEO must never shoot down an idea as nonsense, the best idea may be the last one given. Fourth, he must maintain the enthusiasm, the motivation, and the interest of everyone at all times. He must be ready to guide the discussions of the group should there be a need. Fifth, he must allow informality in the discussions. When people are at ease and comfortable they are able to think better and produce more ideas. Sixth, when the group is through with the brainstorming session, the results are processed and the best ideas are adopted. Then is the time to celebrate. He must share the credit and success with everyone in the team. The CEO must treat the group for a job well done. Seventh, and the most important, is to let everyone know that success does not stop at one. The CEO must provide the means for everyone to further develop his creativity. He should encourage his team to attend trainings to enhance and learn new skills, meet other people from other disciplines and pursue those things that give them inspiration and renewal, like hobbies, travel and sports.
When the CEO has successfully created the climate of creativity, once, it will be easy to replicate the next time.
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Violino, B. (2008, February 4). Fostering Creativity. Business Innovation.