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Creativity is the new style of leadership!

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By Connie Harryman, Applied Concepts Creativity
Guest Blogger IIR USA
Front End of Innovation Europe 2010

Competency in creative leadership leads the list for standout CEOs according to the IBM 2010 Global CEO Study. The survey included over 1,500 Chief Executive Officers from 60 countries and 33 industries.

Creativity is more important than rigor, management discipline, integrity or vision. Creativity is identified as the leading competency. Our world is becoming incredibly complex and dealing with ambiguity in this complex world requires creativity.

I listened to a webinar sponsored by Harvard Business Review. IBM's Saul Berman and Peter J. Korsten shared some insights on standout companies in today's ambiguous environment.

As we come out of the worst recession in 50 years, the new economic environment is viewed as structurally different, with more complexity, more uncertainty, and more volatility. However, standout companies (the top 25% ) are turning complexity to their advantage with creative leadership.

There are three different ways that standout companies achieve success and capitalize on complexity. They embody creative leadership, they reinvent customer relationships, and they build operating dexterity.

A speedy decision is valued over a correct decision. There is a philosophy of correcting things as they move forward.

Creativity is the leading indicator of leadership quality. Creative leadership drives the change needed in the organization to stay ahead of the market. Creative leaders use different communication styles and tools.

They are more open to experimentation with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media. Standout companies break with the status quo of industry, enterprise, and revenue models.

Chief executives believe that to navigate an increasingly complex world will require creativity. They will co-create with their clients. They will globalize what is possible due to standardization and localize what is necessary and whatever needs local tuning. Think 'glocal.'

When creativity is implemented within an organization, then it is better prepared to deal with some of the massive shifts taking place such as new government regulations, changes in global economic power centers, accelerated industry transformation, growing volumes of data, and rapidly evolving customer preferences.

Clearly creativity is the new leadership differentiator for standout companies. You must ask yourself, what tools are you providing to your organization to unleash the creativity of your employees?

Permission to use graphic granted by IBM.

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