Creativity Painting

5 Ways Creativity Surfaces as a Core Leadership Competency

"There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns."
-- Edward de Bono

Creativity is a core leadership competency that brings forth the kinds of results that produce high-performance organizations and keeps leaders from forever repeating the past. Here are five ways in which creativity manifests in the day-to-day life of a leader.

Global learning

Creativity is leveraging technology to bring regional learning to leaders and avoid the costs of physically immersing them in other countries for extended assignments. Learning by knowledge immersion may combine many methods and approaches, including webcasts from local academicians, participation in video-conference meetings of global teams, audio presentations for language learning, or a video series of local executives interviewing key customers. Creativity will contribute toward unearthing alternative ways to bring global learning to all.

Cross-cultural relationships

Building and sustaining relationships with employees and team members around the world requires creativity. The ability to break cultural barriers and create trust with people you've never met face-to-face requires new ways of communication. Creativity comes into play when developing ice-breaker exercises and ongoing relationship-building activities that will aid in coaching and teamwork.

Future skills needs

Creativity is needed when looking beyond current development needs and envisioning future-focused organizational priorities that will contribute to success. Scenario-planning and the application of future-think to talent and succession maps can help build employee development curriculums that will fulfill the talent requirements of the future.


Seeking out and establishing new partnerships and collaboration opportunities will benefit the organization. Leaders of high-performance organizations understand that leveraging the expertise of external resources is an effective route to discovering new product development paths, delivering services, reaching new audiences, and creating synergies that wouldn't otherwise exist.

Customer excellence

Creatively targeting new customer segments through diverse employees who understand their preferences will encourage relevant new offerings. Customer service and satisfaction is a given--organizations must transcend those goals and deliver an excellent total customer experience. Creative ways to connect with customers--technologically and emotionally--can result in customer engagement, retention and referrals.

Creativity can clearly impact the manner in which leaders approach every facet of business, earning it a designation as a core leadership competency. Without it, de Bono says, there will be no progress. Without progress, there is no leading to be done.

Learn more about leveraging creativity and innovation to drive performance with i4cp's People Profit Chain assessment.