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Have you read the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson? If you haven’t, It is a book that basically talks about change and doing things differently. It shows how one situation can bring out different reactions in people. Some adapt, some fight it and want to keep doing things the same way. Others find new patterns; creative and fresh ways of doing things. Leadership just like any other thing can get stale if not constantly refreshed and reviewed, hence the need for creativity in leadership. Situations whereby team members know what next to expect, or become so used to certain styles or patterns which make them unwilling to try out new possibilities; lead to a hindrance in the productivity of organisations.

 A leader who is creative seeks for the new, the impossible, wants to make a large impact, wants to reach where no one else has reached, wants to break boundaries with strategies that have been developed as a result of the broadening of his mind. A creative leader is always in the know of current happenings around him and all over the world, and he works towards impacting his workforce with this acquired knowledge all in the place of humility, patience and compassion. Getting one’s team members to work at this frequency and level of creativity can be tasking but doable, especially when creativity is imbibed in the work culture. One way of getting the best as a leader is ensuring diversity, bring people of different backgrounds, with different ideologies of life and different perceptions. It is important to give team members an enabling environment to put their ideas on the table, allow them to take decisions and steps without forcing opinions down their throats.

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 There is the place of allowing team members to make mistakes, fail and develop themselves from the mistakes they have made. Creativity is on the increase when team members are properly motivated, remunerated and made to work in enabling environments. Most importantly leaders and team members should always keep their minds open. I’ve found that in every seemingly not important idea, there might just be a piece that is useful for development.

In what ways can a leader inspire creativity where necessary?

According to Steve Job “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things”. If you want to achieve more results through creativity as a leader, you must:

1.           Be open to change: Change is inevitable, if you had a plan before and you were convinced it would help both employees and business grow, but things have evolved over time, don’t hold on so tightly to it. Improve and get better on strategies that would push things forward and be open to considering ideas from others.

2.           Cut down on the Red tapes (Official methods and rules that seem extreme and unnecessary): This has a way of limiting what input others can give. Eliminating or cutting down on them will give room for expression and more people to air their views on what is beneficial to the business or organization at large.

3.           Promote and create a platform for ideas to thrive: Someone once said that Great ideas are what fuels progress. If great ideas thrive long enough, there would be more room for bigger and better businesses.

Overall, It is important to give team members an enabling environment to put their ideas on the table, allow them to take decisions and steps without forcing opinions down their throats, all which is essential to drive the agenda of creativity enhancement.

Kemi Ogunkoya is a Leadership Transitioning & Executive Onboarding Strategist. She is an advocate of youth and women empowerment. Asides work, Kemi loves spending quality time with her family and loves to play tennis.  Follow Kemi on Instagram @kemi.ogunkoya.

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