The hallmark of the creative artist to create something that did not exist before, a painting, a sculpture, or an idea. This generative capacity is not limited to artists: entrepreneurs and corporations conceive and create new products, services and platforms that would not have existed all the time. Our complex and volatile world needs this creative ability now more than ever, especially in our leaders.
So how well do we understand this ability? What competencies are required? Is the best training ground in Business or Design school? Maybe it is a school where creativity and C-suite leadership blend, a C-school. A place of learning that develops creative leadership and the innovative enterprise design in entrepreneurs and corporates, with leaders from the private, public, and social sectors.
Understanding creative leadership means understanding creativity. Few of us create alone today. As Keith Sawyer shows in Group Genius, there is a persistent myth of the lone inventor, one great genius slaving away in obscurity. But this is, indeed, a myth. Innovation usually comes from group interaction, from cross-fertilization between team-members and from rapid feedback cycles. Creativity happens in teams. As Pixar Animation Studios President Ed Catmull points out, the team is even more important than the idea. A great team will either turn a mediocre idea into a great movie or jettison it, but a mediocre team will waste a great idea (Ed Catmull, How Pixar fosters collective creativity). A great team can start with an average idea and be creative on the way, changing it as they go along.
Innovation combines the concept for a new product, service or business (Innovative Enterprise) and the team behind it, led by a powerful leader (Creative Leadership). These two major elements begin by the genesis an innovative concept and describing it. Realization consists in giving birth to this idea in the form of an enterprise.