Leaders as Designers

Have you ever noticed how creativity and individualism actually flourishes within order and structure?  Think about the artist’s canvas.  We typically see the exquisitely creative final product but many artists will tell you that the first step in becoming creative is to bring order or structure to the canvas. So, many artists first overlay a grid on the canvas so that spacing, porportion, and dimensions are accurately represented.

Order even undergirds the vast amount of diversity and creativity in our world.  Biologist Stuart Kauffman suggests that fundamental laws govern the order of life. However, those very laws create completely unpredictable complexities and varieties of life.  It would appear then that there is a wonderfully incongruency:  creativity arises from order.

As leaders we regularly want those in our care to be imaginative, ingenious, inventive, resourceful, fullfilled in their work, and productive — we want creativity!   To encourage these dispositions suggests that we should design environments and systems which, like the artist’s canvas and even our natural world, provide the order, structure, and encouragement leading to unpredictable creativity.  When we design strategic systems and structures which incentivize productive behavior, we allow good people to become their creative best – leading each to individual fulfillment and outstanding results.

So, what kind of environment will you design today?

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