Towards a New Cadre of Creative Leaders

To research and educate about new forms of leadership, and to deliver a new generation of creative people able to deliver this leadership.

shutterstock_347800229This is the new mission for our Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice at Cass Business School. During 2017, research undertaken by the Centre identified increasingly complex, unstructured and dynamic worlds that leaders need to operate in. It revealed that societal, business and social challenges are no longer predictable, and traditional planning leadership and processes that are derived from single disciplines often generate inadequate solutions. Something new is needed.

Over the last 8 months, our Centre team has worked with its new external Advisory Board to develop the new mission. Together we recognised that the world is increasingly complex, unstructured and dynamic, even chaotic to the uninformed observer. We concluded that societal, business and social challenges are no longer predictable, and traditional planning leadership and processes that are derived from single disciplines generate inadequate solutions. Under the chairmanship of Professor Steven Kyffin, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Northumbria University, we have identified the need for new forms of interdisciplinary leadership to provide the new forms of structure that make sense of complex, unstructured and dynamic worlds.

Therefore, the Centre’s new, and exciting mission is to research and educate about these new forms of leadership, and to deliver a new generation of creative people able to deliver this leadership. The new challenge and mission statements are reported in full at the end of this message.

We are excited by this new mission for the Centre, and hope that you are too.

Now, we want people to involve themselves in the Centre’s progress towards delivering this new mission. There will be plenty of opportunities to do so. To get involved, contact the Centre Director, Professor Neil Maiden, at N.A.M.Maiden@city.ac.uk.

The challenge statement – in full

The world is increasingly complex, unstructured and dynamic, even chaotic to the uninformed observer. Societal, business and social challenges are no longer predictable, and traditional planning leadership and processes that are derived from single disciplines generate inadequate solutions. Use of the skills and processes generated from these single disciplines does not inform people about what will happen tomorrow or next week, let alone how to respond to this perceived chaos.

The mission statement in full

New forms of interdisciplinary leadership are needed to provide new forms of structure that make sense of the chaos. The Centre will research and educate about these new forms of leadership. This research and enterprise will build a new cadre of creative leaders. The new cadre will be delivered with the new interdisciplinary frameworks, knowledge, techniques and skills to investigate, generate, envision, prototype, critique and reflect on creative solutions to these complex, ill-structured and chaotic problems, and provide new forms of intellectual resilience. Moreover, these new interdisciplinary frameworks, knowledge, techniques and skills will be synthesised from not only business and engineering disciplines, but also from the arts, the social and the creativity sciences. Framework development will both inform and be informed by emerging practices. As a result, the new leadership cadre will enable teams to take ‘leaps of faith’ in more structured and controlled environments, to empower their organisations and teams to do the same. It will empower businesses to be non-business in business, and to be entrepreneurial with these skills, in new contexts. It will enable a wider range of organisations to be more interdisciplinary and business-like.

The Centre’s external Advisory Committee members

Prof. Steven Kyffin (Chair), Pro-Vice Chancellor of Business and Enterprise, Northumbria University

Prof. Alan Blackwell, Professor of Interdisciplinary Design, University of Cambridge

Claire Bridges, Founder, Now Go Create

Brian Dorval, Founding Partner, Think First Serve, Inc.

John Loder, Head of Strategy, Nesta Health Lab

Frank Milani Co-founder, Powergoat

Evelyn Wilson, Director, TCCE (The Culture Capital Exchange)

Photo credit: Sensay/Shutterstock.com

 

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