What is creative leadership

Creative leadership means more than just pushing innovation and being on the look out for new ideas and having sufficient of a start-up mentality to get things done. At the core the change has to do with what we know. Our old models of leadership were based on the idea that there is a right answer. Bring in an expert, do the market research, spend x amount on advertising and you will create y demand. That kind of thinking. The belief that there is a right answer out there and we just have to ask the right questions to the right people to get it and then we can base our strategies on that. Creative leadership means letting go of the idea that there is a right answer out there that you can know in advance, it means understanding at the core that things are moving differently now, not that there is a new right answer to learn, but that there is no right answer any more. We don’t know what is going to work. How do you operate in those conditions? How do you organize people in these conditions? How do you organize assets in those conditions? That is what Creative Leadership is about.

The rewards of a story

Last week I was moderating an event for the economic board of Amsterdam. About 300 people had come to hear three star creative entrepreneurs of Amsterdam, Ben van Berkel, Renny Ramakers and Duncan Stutterheim. As a moderator I did something that intriguingly enough led to quite a bit of discussion afterwards at the bar. The main question seemed to be, why did it work? I now think I have the answer and it is a story. But let me first explain what happened…

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