Creative leadership

How to lead your team to integrated ground-breaking results

Creativity and integration defined

  • Integration is a process of combining or accumulating. Integration in marketing refers to a strategy informed by multiple relevant pespectives, which is designed to reach multiple audiences, using multiple tactics to create message redundancy.
  • Quote: “Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties” (Erich Fromm)
  • Quote: “You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star” (Friedrich Nietzche)
  • Quote: “Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order” (Virginia Woolf)

What kinds of leadership foster creativity and integration for brainstorming

  • Democratic style fosters creativity and integration.
    • Emphasizes participation and delegation.
    • Identifies the problem or challenge, not the potential solutions.
    • Articulates any legitimate parameters.
    • Values originality as much as past experience.
    • Employs consensus for decisions, when appropriate.
    • Encourages project time frames that allow for brainstorming, consensus, integration.
    • Is open, trusting, and values expertise of others.
    • Rewards performance of groups, not just individuals.
  • Autocratic style limits participation and controls results.
    • Micromanages or controls tasks.
    • Predisposes or prescribes outcomes.
    • Discourages innovation.
    • Values proven performance and past practice over original thinking.
    • Identifies possible solutions to problems when assigning scope of task.
    • Values leader’s experience based on trust.
    • Sets a time line for tasks that value action and implementation.
    • Reward staff primarily for individual contributions.
  • Note: crisis communications may benefit more from autocratic styles.

Cultivating creativity for integrated outcomes

At the beginning…

  • Create cross-functional teams. If possible, allow some experimentation in new roles. Seeing things from different perspectives created new understanding and expands ideas.
  • Be clear about expectations. Review purpose and requirements.
  • Set parameters at appropriate points.
  • Allow/plan time in production schedules.

Next …

  • Find an environment that release members form regular routines, encourages team interaction.
    • Limit interruptions.
    • Focus on purpose.
    • Encourage comfort (dress, refreshments, climate, etc.)

Use creativity exercises and refresh openness

  • Use art supplies, games to warm up.
  • When ideas slow down, try another exercise to generate fresh ideas.

Begin brainstorming

  • No idea is a bad idea — no criticism.
  • Avoid censoring selves.
  • Take risks.
  • Keep groups small. If overall group is large, break into smaller groups and process feedback in a larger group.

Don’t walk away from initial brainstorming with a plan for next steps

  • Distribute responsibities.
  • Take time to synthesize.
  • Schedule next milestones for team to get together.

And, finally, outside the confines of a specific project, cultivate through on-going measures

  • Minimize boundaries of professional training, budgets, office space.
  • Reward (reasonable) risk and collaboration.
  • Encourage outings, professional development opportunities, and recognition programs that inspire and reward

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