Creative Leadership isn’t about having all the ideas

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I found this 2 minute clip via “the friday mailing – leading learning for a faith-full church” from  In the clip Sir Ken Robinson makes a number of points about leadership that fosters creativity.

When I first came across the entrepreneurial and creative leadership language being applied to church leadership I was pretty dismissive.  But over time I’ve mellowed to the concept, in part due to this lecture which, in part, focuses on the positive associations of such language.

In the Sir Ken clip he makes the following points:

1. many organisations constrain a massive amount of talent in people;

2. the effort of constraining talent is often greater than what it would take for the organisation to release the talent;

3. His advice to an organisation interested in creativity and innovation is to give people training programmes in the techniques of creative thinking;

4. He describes a shift here in leadership style – from efficiency based programmes – where the issues is optimum performance against set tasks and  optimum efficiency – (often depends on a command and control mentality);

5. A creative leader isn’t somebody who tells people what to do.  The job of the creative leader is to create the conditions in which people will show discretion and discretionary effort – its to create a culture in which everybody will have ideas.  The role of the creative leader is not to have all of the ideas.

The obvious three questions for those of us in church leadership roles are:

a) Is our church’s leadership style command and control or creative?

b) How have we trained people in creative thinking techniques?

c) How do we allow people to show discretion and discretionary effort in what they do?

PS If you’ve never come across it this is the TED lecture from some 11 years ago that I think made Sir Ken and his observations on creativity more well known – its funny and insightful and well worth a watch …










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