Sparking Success: Why Every Leader Needs to Develop a Creative Mindset
“Sparking Success achieves exactly what the title promises: it helps every leader to be much more creative, an essential attribute in our unfamiliar times of opportunity, challenge and change. Adam Kingl is a masterful writer about business and leadership: insightful, engaging and highly original.” ― Jeremy Kourdi, Writer, Entrepreneur and former Senior Vice President, The Economist
Author of his previous book Next Generation Leadership, How to Ensure Young Talent Will Thrive with Your Organisation, Adam Kingl is a renowned expert in leadership creativity, and uses his skills as a teacher and experience as Executive Director to provoke insightful text to improve leadership in business.
Sparking Success uncovers the importance of creativity for business leaders and details how it can be cultivated and embedded on both an individual and organisational level. Kingl uses his experience and expertise on generational paradigms in the workplace to profile creatives and business leaders from media outlets such as Pixar, Disney, and Panasonic, to divulge the importance of creativity in the workplace.
Here is an extract from Sparking Success: Why Every Leader Needs to Develop a Creative Mindset by Adam Kingl.
In researching how artistic professions enhance their creativity and innovation while writing my new book Sparking Success, I observed that chefs move from restaurant to restaurant a lot. Is this the restlessness of the creative spirit, the need to reinvent? Yes, at least partially.
Now, in the traditional business realm, I’m not suggesting that you must change employers in order to reinvent, though it is worth considering every now and then. At the least, a creative ‘refresh’ affords the time and space to consider new products and services, to create a different dynamic or leadership impact within your current environment, or to apply new lenses or principles to your creative challenges in order to consider solutions through fresh perspectives.
In order to keep evaluating combinations of ideas that you hadn’t brought together before, make matchmaking a habit. One exercise that you can do on your own or with your team is to draw two lines down a large sheet of paper, creating three equally sized columns. At the top of the left-hand column write ‘From Our World’. On the top of the second column write ‘From Other Worlds’, and on the top of the third column write ‘Innovations’.
In the first column, list the themes, products, services, features, business models, or processes that you want to refresh or reinvent. It’s best to have a focus and just cover one genre such as ‘features’. In the second column, write completely unrelated things, people, ideas or influences. The more seemingly random, the better. In the last column, brainstorm what would happen if you combined each item in column one with the influence from column two.
For example, a team in an office furniture company may want to create a new design for their desk lamp. Their exercise may look something like this:
|From Our World – our lamp||From Other Worlds||Innovations|
|Straight tube from the base to the shade.||Salvador Dalí||The tube coils into a knot in the middle before continuing up to the shade.|
|Lampshade is monochrome.||Jackson Pollack||Spatter several bright colours onto the shade; every lamp is different.|
|A switch on the base turns the light on and off.||iPhone||No switch = cleaner design. You turn the light on and off using an app on your phone.|
|A cord plugs the lamp into an outlet.||Tesla||No cord. The lamp is battery-operated, so it’s more mobile.|
Of course, you can apply every influence from the second column to each item in the first column to surface more possible innovations for each feature. For instance, how would Dalí, Pollack, the iPod and Tesla each alter or improve the cord element on the lamp? Many innovations won’t be attractive or feasible. It’s not about perfection but about volume to increase the odds of discovering a good idea. If you get one interesting idea to develop further from each iteration of this exercise, then you’ve made a great new habit out of innovation and adaptability. You’ve improved the creative capacity of yourself and of your team.Buy Now