Complexity requires Creativity …
… that’s what 1,541 CEO’s said in a 2009/2010 research study conducted by IBM. And I quote, “The effects of rising complexity call for CEOs and their teams to lead with bold creativity.” In the prior three year’s studies, these CEOs said that ‘coping with change’ was their #1 challenge,… but now it’s ‘complexity.’ And no wonder, we live in a world that is increasingly more uncertain and significantly more interconnected. It’s what Roger Martin, from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, calls ‘wicked problems.’ Some problems are so wicked, we can’t even solve them; we can only hope to get closer and closer to a resolution over time.
So why does creativity rise up as the most important leadership quality current and future leaders require…? Because if you’re only willing to stay the ‘same’ and play in the box you’re already in,… satisfied with incremental changes to your current offering and/or business model,… then maintaining your relevancy with customers that are increasingly choosing to pursue ‘different’, puts you at a disadvantage. The only way, in my view, to effectively compete against this backdrop of complexity, is to aggressively encourage experimentation and innovation (yes, sometimes radical innovation) across your enterprise.
Creative leaders are seemingly better, even comfortable, in that fuzziness between those things they do know,… and those things they have hunches about, but aren’t really sure. They are willing to consider new ideas, new solutions, and new models; to question long standing assumptions, and take balanced risks. It’s not a do-anything, random style of management,… but it is a measured, do-something expectation…! Most importantly, you need to deeply understand what your customers truly care about,… and then creatively respond in ways that generate new, distinctive value in the eyes of your customers. In the end, if you’re just a bit better, a bit different, or a bit cheaper than the other alternatives,… complexity may get the best of you. Create or Collapse...?