FAQ from Lee Ellis and Leading with Honor –
“Creativity is currently perhaps one of the most admired skills. Do you believe that ‘being inventive’ is an ability that anybody can develop? Why?”
Lee’s Answer –
“Being inventive and creative is crucial to future success for individual and organizational success. In my last book, Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton, I talk about the need for creativity and innovation.
‘Necessity is the mother of invention,’ said Plato. We certainly found that to be true in the bare and deprived conditions of the POW camps. Innovation and creativity were essential for survival. Innovation also is essential for survival in business. In a ‘2010 Global CEO Study’ conducted by IBM, 60 percent of the 1,500+ CEOs interviewed said they believed creativity would be the most important attribute leaders must possess during the years ahead. The study found that most CEOs don’t believe their enterprises are adequately prepared for the twenty-first century business environment, which will be characterized by dynamically shifting global power centers, rapidly transforming industries, exponentially escalating amounts of information, more intrusive government regulation, and dramatically changing customer preferences.
The most successful leaders, the IBM study concludes, will highly value creativity and consistently pursue innovative ideas. They will readily welcome disruptive innovation, drop outdated approaches, take balanced risks, and be willing to totally reinvent themselves and their companies when necessary. With an understanding that this shift needs to happen, any leader can make the conscious decision to embrace creativity and innovation.
I believe we can all be creative in some way if we allow ourselves to think creatively. Still, some people have a natural talent for being creative with ideas—an out of the box type of creativity. They are the ones on the edge, ahead of the rest of us, pushing the limits. Find those people and manage them well and they can make you more successful—though they are not easily managed.”