What is Creative Thought Leadership? Part 2

This is Part 2 of a two part series. Part 1 was recently posted, see http://bit.ly/2l9vkj9


We saw from our earlier discussion that the concept of Thought Leadership required a creative element- specialization is not enough. The better term I have coined is, Creative Thought Leadership (CTL). CTL would then have the following elements, as we have refined them:

  1. Individual or Firm.
  2. Recognized.
  3. Creative (including specialized).
  4. Expertise.
  5. Sought and rewarded.

This is a good start. This list can allow us to develop a sound concept, a set of principles, and then a set of practices, which can be learnt at the individual level and then instilled at the organizational level. This gives us a replicable capacity. This can allow all of us to learn CTL, and then instill it into our organisations.


Existing Domains – The Silos

However, there is something more. To give CTL more depth we need to take a look in the past. It seems over recent decades, we can see CTL emerging from two specific strands of thought-

  1. Creativity and Innovation.
  2. Management and Leadership.

These strands are lines in the business and broader literature. They are also strands developed from everyday practice and principles in businesses and organisations around the world.

There is one major problem though. Often these strands, or domains do not intersect. They exist as silos. For instance, in corporations nowdays there is an Innovation Manager and then there is the CEO or executive team. Innovation is boxed in. This is quite a paradox- innovation, like creativity as we discussed earlier, needs to be cultural, it needs to be instilled. Creativity is crippled if it is boxed in.

Similarly, the domain of Leadership seems reserved for the CEO or the executive level of the organization. This follows the hierarchical structures of organisations we inherited from the 20th Century. Yet this century we are seeing flat, more fluid management structures particularly in the tech sector. Fluid structures cope better with the fast pace of change. Change in itself will characterize the business and social environment of the 21st Century. It follows that rigid, bureaucratic, hierarchical structures are likely to become anachronistic.

Startups morphing into global corporations in a few years teach us the power and importance of welding the domains of Creativity and Leadership. This should not just occur at executive levels, but should occur culturally, throughout the organization.

The power of one idea, no matter where it originates, can transport a product, a process, the future of a corporation in a heartbeat. This can only occur if the concepts and capacities of Creativity and Leadership are never boxed in. We need to destroy the silos of the past.


CTL Emerges from the Intersection

If the domains of Creativity and Leadership should not exist in silos, and we intersect them, this gives us a new domain. Here is where CTL lives. It sits at the intersection of the domains of Creativity and Leadership.

CTL finds the common points from the literature, principles and practices of Creativity and Leadership. The intersecting points are different from the non intersecting points, yet they are common to both the domains of Creativity and Leadership. Creative Thought Leaders share special traits of Creativity and Leadership.

When we look at the history of ideas, we see this collision or intersection of ideas as a common method for the evolution of human thought. It seems to be a natural methodology. We see it in other fields, such as Cosmology. Bodies collide and then new bodies are created. We also see it in Economic or Social Theory, such as in Schumpeter’s Destruction- Creation Model: things are created only after the old has been destroyed.


Capacity – Creating The Curve

As human thought evolves, so do material outcomes. If we instill Creative Thought Leadership (CTL) in individuals and organisations, then what we make and do can evolve in very powerful ways. Our products or services become better, our processes become better, we become better. We are better able to deal with the fast pace of change we face today. We are better able to deal with complex issues, such as climate change, globalization and disruption. We can, not only be ahead of the curve, we can have a capacity to create the curve.

The capacity of Creative Thought Leadership will differentiate successful individuals and organisations well into the 21st and even the 22nd Centuries. Simultaneously, it will align product, profit and purpose.


Regards, Lee M. Spano, Creatness International CEO www.creatness.com

© Copyright Lee M. Spano, 2017 All rights reserved.

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