I found a great TED Talk by Harvard Professor Linda Hill...
I love the message in this research which is basically that leaders need to create an environment where everyone gets to play and everyone feels that their voice adds value. I find it interesting that Professor Hill suggests that the leadership required to make this happen is significantly different than the standard leadership learning. That may be true of other models of leadership but I find that what it takes to lead in the creative environment she describes is exactly in line with The Leadership Challenge and The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership (Kouzes and Posner). She describes Ed Catmull, the CEO of Pixar and demonstrates that he follows the Five Practices in the following ways:
1. Is clear about his leadership philosophy (Model The Way)
2. Creates a broad and long-term vision, for example “An organization at the frontier” in the case of Pixar (Inspire a Shared Vision)
3. Lets people experiment and learn from mistakes (Challenge the Process)
4. Enables everyone to share what they can (Enables Others to Act)
5. Recognizes people for their contribution to the team success, including babes born in the process (Encourage the Heart).
Again, this is a great message about how to lead innovation. It helps us to see how important great leadership is in this process, and how we need to create the environment for “collective genius”.