5 ways to elevate your firm's creativity-led leadership

The pandemic has not only brought about changes to the workforce and consumer habit, but also highlighted the need to be even more creative and innovative. In times like this, creativity is even more necessary to push the boundaries and cut through the clutter. However, for organisations to truly succeed, the push needs to start from the top. Over the course of this year, factors such as culture, deeper cross-department collaboration, and developing creative skills will be even more important to elevate a company's creativity-led leadership. Here are five ways you can get started:

1. Culture is the overarching factor that influences creativity

Only 29% of leaders in Asia Pacific have succeeded in creating a culture that embraces creativity, according to the Adobe Creativity Quotient. However, it is time for leaders to drive a creative culture, even in a hybrid digital analogue work environment as companies start adapting and innovating for the new normal. 

As the phrase "working from anywhere" becomes commonplace, Adobe said attention should be paid to recreating or replacing the aspects of culture that require in-person engagement in order to cultivate a culture of openness and collaboration.

2. Data centricity only matters if you have the right data

Although data centricity is key for customer centricity, the Adobe Creativity Quotient said only 36% of leaders effectively use data at the start of every creative process, and almost 20% use data retrospectively to post-rationalise creative approaches. To change this, companies need to prioritise collecting and dissecting the right data for more strategic, meaningful and structured use right from the start. Additionally, Adobe said it is vital that the insights are contextualised by how the pandemic has changed customer behavior.

3. Blurring lines of organisational functions

As companies aim to offer innovative experiences and be more agile with customer experience, deeper cross-department collaboration will become key to business success. As such, it is vital for the C-suite roles to take joint ownership of customer experience, which will allow companies to understand the various aspects of customer journeys.

4. Focus on creative skill development needs to accelerate

In 2021, it is imperative for leaders to foster entrepreneurial skills that can be applied across business functions and roles. Insights from the Adobe Creativity Quotient found that just 25% of Asia Pacific respondents leading the way with driving creative skills needed to navigate transformation and change.

As technology continues to advance, technical skills become less critical. Uniquely human skills such as empathy, critical thinking and problem solving become more important as they play a crucial role in driving the success of an organisation.

5. Leaders need to understand how technology can help augment human skills

The emphasis on business leaders in 2021 will be on the importance of investing in both technology and skills to create engaging, valuable customer experiences that will endure.

Adobe Southeast Asia's MD Simon Dale said leaders have to understand the power of an integrated customer journey management, which will be a key challenge in the path of digital transformation.

"Aspects such as the ability for organisations to rapidly take data from insight to action will be crucial in a business environment that is certain to be fluid and turbulent over the next year. For leaders, the challenge lies within recognising this power to augment, enhance and empower your teams," Dale said.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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