Letter to myself: How might I be a more effective leader for creativity?
This letter is from your past self. I have so many questions for you. Are you still lively, creative and ambitious? Maybe a bit persistent? Remember the leading for creativity course you took a while ago, I am writing to remind you about what I / past you planned to do about the inspiration and knowledge you received from IDEO U.
There are three pillars of leading for creativity: a strong point of view, culture and leading alongside / coaching. The trickiest part seems to define which one to use in which kinds of situation. But IDEO U, Tim Brown, Meena Kadri and the teaching team inspired you about that and you were very passionate about the topic and the lessons. So I am sure you are doing well.
To reach a strong point of view, you must practice formulating a purpose, vision and challenges. What kind of work would you like to live in? What do you want to achieve with your practice? First, formulate a strong point of view for yourself and your design business. Then try communicating it to people who do not know you. Then formulate again. Park it there. Start asking questions. Hopefully you will land on more creativity and innovation focused international projects and you will form stronger relationships with your clients. Did you already get there? If not, it is alright. Go back to your course notes and your peers like Nicole. They will direct you to the right direction.
You also work on creating and sustaining a creativity culture. Rituals are important part of a creative culture, focus also on the environment you and your teams work in. Did you manage to introduce rituals to the teams you are leading throughout projects? Did they adopt them? How did you refine them?
You work in a very high-ego culture. That, we know. Did you find ways to bring peace with egos for the whole team? Do you get more and more creative ideas within your teams? Are people more confident within their teams? Do they feel they can grow?
You probably still are deeply amazed by the fact that in Bauhaus in the 30s, they used to start the day with doing sports all together. Did you manage to get a team to move together? How did that work?
At first you thought that leading alongside needed a fixed team but it turned out that you, as an independent humaniser can also do that. Did you see the effect of the 1–2 hours prototyping sessions? Did you also have fun along the way? If not, and you do not have anything to convince yourself that there is something more important than fun and passion in design; please slowly let that project go. Are your teams experimenting more? Did anyone surprise you with an unexpected prototype and rough user test? Was it objective ? :)
Are you still meditating and doing yoga? Your back must have healed by now. Are you practicing mindfulness at work? Do you notice that you are more effective in your communication and more present for guiding your team?
Your strength today is that you are ready to learn and not afraid of asking questions. You say sorry if you believe it is wrong but do not ask permission for being who you are and doing what you think is right. You are bold today. I wonder what you find yourself strong at.
Take good care of your inner peace, liveliness and back
PS: Meena Kadri shared this as a comment along with very encouraging words. http://www.bauhaus.de/en/das_bauhaus/46_leben_am_bauhaus/ If you are interested in design culture, curiosity culture; Bauhaus is a good place to start.