Leading and Creativity in a Cluster of Talents
When we think of innovation, we often think of building and implementing an innovation strategy. But as we all know, innovation actually starts with the capability of the people who will ultimately implement the strategy. Which takes us directly into the space of leadership and creativity. How can leaders help their people grow and encourage innovation and creativity?
Fast Company recently addressed this issue in a discussion to determine what people need in order to do their best work and be creative and innovative. They identified three things that leaders need to realise:
- Leaders curate talent. Building an organisation is the gathering of people for a common cause. Gathering the right people together at the right time is curation.
- People need freedom. To do their best work, people need to feel like they’re able to bring all of their effort into the task, which requires an open, autonomy-oriented culture.
- People need structure. This is not anarchy; with freedom comes responsibility. Responsibility can be ensured with both quantitative and qualitative methods and springs from a thriving culture.
They proceed to introduce the concept of ‘talent clusters’ as a form of organisational structure. A talent cluster is a way of driving innovation and creative outcomes by putting together a cross functional group of people with the right skills to create and implement ideas.
In a creative organisation, talent clusters consists of people in four main roles:
1. Ideation roles: dream up, discover, invent, and spread ideas
2. Guiding roles: manage, navigate, oversee, and develop ideas
3. Building roles: implement, execute, and finish turning ideas into processes
4. Improving roles: expands, reduces, and tinkers with existing products and processes
Great leadership is not only about inspiring people, but providing circumstances and structure where people are motivated to perform at their best.
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Managing Director, The Strategy Group
Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.
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