Creativity is the most important leadership quality

That’s what the latest IBM CEO study found out. IBM interviewed more than 1500 CEOs from different sized organisations, countries and industries. Four primary findings arose from those conversations:

Today’s complexity is expected to rise and more than half of CEOs doubt their ability to manage it

CEOs widely acknowledge that the world is becoming more and more complex. Increasingly interconnected economies, enterprises, societies and governments are leading to uncertainty. Constant change will dominate the business world. What strikes us most is, that less than half of the CEOs believe that their company was well prepared to cope with the upcoming business environment.

Creativity is the most important leadership quality

Most CEOs believe that managing despite uncertainty will require a lot of creativity. On one hand, creativity is needed to make decisions fast and good. On the other hand, only creative leaders have the ability to re-think their business models and come up with ideas to drastically change their enterprise. Creative leaders have to be open-minded and inventive. They have to encourage creativity inside the organisation in any way.

The most successful organisations co-create products and services with customers, and integrate customers into core processes

A very interesting finding is that according to CEOs a successful company has to adopt new channels to engage and stay in tune with customers. Customers have to be the first priority. An organisation has to get closer to them, get feedback to provide the customers with what they really want. Social media and Online Collaboration may be important points here.

Capitalise on complexity

In summary the study says that creative leaders can manage complexity by inventing new business models based on entirely different assumptions. Those who create new products, services, delivery methods and channels that make things simple and crisis proof will succeed. That way a company can even benefit on complexity.

What do you think? Were they right? How do you value creativity?


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