Results of the 2010 IBM Global CEO Study have just been released.

The most exciting part of the study for me was this:

About 60% of CEOs polled cited creativity as the most important leadership quality, compared with 52% for integrity and 35% for global thinking. Creative leaders are also more prepared to break with the status quo of industry, enterprise and revenue models, and they are 81% more likely to rate innovation as a “crucial capability.”    (source: Fast Company)

That’s right.  Sixty percent of the CEOs surveyed felt CREATIVITY is a crucial skill.  Leadership is not all about operational excellence and squeezing the budget.  It’s more about creative problem-solving.  Leadership is about challenging the status quo.  It’s about doing the creative thinking to innovate.

The challenges of leadership today, and, especially, in the future REQUIRE creativity.

So what might that suggest?  I can think of a few things:

  • Assess the composition and creative strengths of your leaders and leaders-to-be.
  • Invest in development that builds 1) capacity to do collaborative creating (versus competing and evaluating) and 2) skills to use tools and techniques beyond brainstorming
  • Reward creativity (as uncomfortable as that might be when compared to compliance)
  • Assess your culture for how well it supports creativity

Even if you’re not all convinced we can well imagine that CEOs are looking ahead.  The fact that they recognize the value of creativity is good news for us all.

You can read a summary of the report in Fast Company.  You can access the entire report here.

Foment the Revolution.