Creative Leadership is a practice requiring ongoing, even daily reflection, development and implementation

I just completed an energizing weekend leading a course on the Business of Creativity in the executive MBA program in Creative Leadership at Falmouth University College in Cornwall.* One of the learnings we dwelt on was the importance of understanding how creative leadership is an ongoing practice that involves regular, even daily development. It’s far too… Continue reading

Balancing Clarity and Uncertainty in Leading More Successful and Creative Teams

One of the most important trends in leadership, especially of creative organizations and tasks, over the last two decades, is arguably the shift in attention from firm-level to team-level or project-level design and management. About team leadership, especially, there has been a range of immensely valuable insights generated and best practices shared by the likes… Continue reading

Going Deeper on Dark Social: What the Invisibility of So Many Social Referrals Really Means

I’ve been thinking about a provocative piece published by Alexis C. Madrigal in The Atlantic online last weekend. “Dark Social: We Have the Whole History of the Web Wrong” makes a simple yet profound point about the social web that has emerged over the last decade to transform interpersonal interactions and communication. Madrigal’s assertion is that while… Continue reading

Innovative Leadership: A Thoughtful Model and (free!) Online Self-Assessment from Metcalf Associates

Metcalf Associates, a management consulting and leadership coaching firm, helped to plan a recent “Creating a Marketplace of Ideas” gathering in Columbus, Ohio. The event brought together several heavyweight thinkers about creativity, innovation, and creative cities and economies: Sir Ken Robinson, Jeff Dyer, and Richard Florida shared various insights that aimed to help local individual and businesses… Continue reading

Leadership and Luck: Fortune favors the hard-working (and decisive and flexible and trusting…)

In “More luck than judgment,” in today’s Financial Times, Morgan Witzel draws together a range of perspectives about luck and its place in business and leadership. Many of the varied voices in the piece circle around the familiar understanding that those who commit to hard work and preparation make their own luck. However, an important finer point involves… Continue reading

More on Nurturing Innovation and Celebrating Piracy: Will the Chinese Steve Jobs be a Pirate?

If the challenge of making sense of (and advancing) innovation I raised in my last post is evident anywhere today, it is in China.  Christopher Beam’s current column in Slate, “The Chinese Steve Jobs is Probably a Pirate” deftly probes which types of innovation we celebrate, which we condemn, and the murkiness of trying to distinguish… Continue reading

Nurturing Rebels and Unlocking Innovation: The Creative Turn in Business and Leadership

The CMO of frog, Tim Leberecht, recently wrote, “How to Nurture Your Company’s Rebels, And Unlock Their Innovative Might” (the same piece appeared at FastCo. Design). Despite its brevity, the post gathers a range of examples and sources, from innovation communes and Ashoka Changemakers to Roger Martin and U2, of a telling shift underway today to embrace… Continue reading

Warren Bennis on Leadership and Character … and A Key Insight about Reflection

Like so many, I’m an admirer of Warren Bennis’s thinking about leadership.  In his current Bloomberg Business Week blog posting, Bennis writes briefly on leadership and character: .  His question is whether business schools can teach character or, put even more basically, whether character can be taught to or learned by leaders.  A fascinating and provocative topic…. Continue reading

Putting more open leadership into practice: A great interview example

One of the fundamental tenets of contemporary leadership thinking, particularly the leadership of creativity and innovation, is the value of ceding control and empowering others — subordinates and peers, customers and clients alike.  Enabling others through a greater understanding of what they find fulfilling and inspiring them to do what organizations need to be done… Continue reading

Where will you find your ideas? The Ideas Economy and Moving beyond TED

In the Financial Times this weekend, April Dembosky writes about Richard Saul Wurman, one of the creators of the TED conference, and his new WWW event: .  WWW doesn’t stand for anything specific; instead, it refers to a list words starting with “W”: “wanderlust,” “warming,” and “wizardry” — evidently in order to emphasize the fertile openness of the… Continue reading