Creativity and the Role of the Leader

Last year I participated in a Harvard Business School colloquium titled Creativity, Entrepreneurship, and Organizations of the Future.  I had a great time contributing to the conversation there and learned a lot, too — in other words, it was a classic HBS experience (I really love the place).

The October issue of Harvard Business Review has a summary of the colloquium written by professors Teresa Amabile and Mukti Khaire.  It is titled "Creativity and the Role of the Leader", and it’s available for free right now on their site.  I’m quoted in it, and so is my blogging and teaching buddy Bob Sutton, among others.

Here’s my favorite portion of the article:

By the colloquium’s end, however, most attendees agreed that there is a role for management in the creative process; it is just different from what the traditional work of management might suggest.  The leadership imperatives we discussed, which we share in this article, reflect a viewpoint we came to hold in common: One doesn’t manage creativity.  One manages for creativity.

What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Creativity and the Role of the Leader

  1. Managing in today’s market has become unbelievably difficult. I would agree that one has to manage for creativity, and be creative to maintain in today’s markets.
    I believe that we, as leaders, need to forget most of what we’ve learned. The dog-eat-dog world of American capitalism has produced some of the wealthiest individuals through greed and corruption. Not to mention, millions of Americans have lost significant wealth because of impropriety and trust.
    I believe that American leadership needs to return to the basics of trust, loyalty, and hard work. I admire the book Dropping Almonds by Bach Anon because of its genuine nature and realistic approach.
    I, for one, have sat through several strategic meetings that cost up to $20k a day and walked away with nothing that would enhance my performance. We have become a nation of leaders that prefers “tag” phrases and strategic thought to hard work and dedication.
    I’ve abandoned most of what I’ve learned and returned to the basics of what’s important, people. My recommendation is to read Dropping Almonds.

  2. The people have perished with vision, bad vision, for the past several years. The basics of business principles, values, and customer service need to return.
    What ever happened to conducting business honestly with integrity? Visions can’t overcome the dishonesty, greed, and absense of values.

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