CREATIVITY THROUGH LEADERSHIP
Creativity in the workplace is either encouraged or suppressed by the culture of that workplace. Culture in the workplace is how things are done on a day to day basis. Leadership controls that. So if your culture is to come to work on time, keep your head down, mouth shut, get your work done, and repeat daily, then creativity may never raise its head for you.
At the same time, if you come to work and feel that you have some importance and what you do matters and that innovation and growth are rewarded in some fashion, then chances are creativity is your daily companion.
The mistake that many organizations make is they think that creativity is only for companies like Google or Microsoft or Apple, and that factories and assembly line type companies don’t need something silly like creativity. Let me ask you a question: Do you think the Ford assembly line today looks anything like it did when Henry rolled his first car off the line? Of course not, and probably no company is doing it exactly the same as when they first started. When leadership is pushing for excellence and asking how can we be better on a consistent basis, then creativity is always the result.
So what does love have to do with creativity? Let’s first distinguish love the emotion (I love my spouse, my car, my job, etc.) from love the behavior. Gallup did a huge survey on the behaviors that people expect of their leaders and the following eight behaviors made the list more than any others and they are: Honesty (No. 1 by far), Patience, Kindness, Selflessness, Forgiveness, Humility, Commitment and Respect. These are the behaviors of Love in the workplace. They are also the behaviors, that when properly applied, result in growth in teams and individuals.
Too often those in leadership feel that they should be served while true leadership requires you to serve those under you. That service is designed to not only get the best production out of your people, but also to build the kind of relationship that results in your people asking questions in the workplace like how can I make things better? How can I make myself better? And I would suspect every organization wants that.
So as good leaders do, please take some time to reflect on your leadership style and ask yourself how often are you using the behaviors of love with your people, are your people better than they were when you first took leadership and maybe more important than any other question, are you better today than when you first took leadership.
Creativity is about new ways of solving problems, new ways of looking at things, new ways of judging processes, procedures and habits in the workplace. As I said before, leadership controls culture and they reflect on each other synergistically, which is to say it would be the rare instance where a great culture has been established and yet the leadership is poor or absent and the opposite also holds true.
Is the culture at your workplace creative? Can you ask your people every day to find a better way to solve a problem or a process? Are you? Creativity needs a jumpstart and an accountability facilitator. That comes from the top down and is the responsibility and duty of the leaders of every organization. So be that change agent, start that new procedure, get in the game so if someone says to you, can you say that you are better today than when you first took leadership, you can say, without reservation: ABSOLUTELY!