Creativity as Key to Leadership Success

In course of the call for ideas “LEADERSHIP+CREATIVITY” of the KSG, doctoral students of the doctoral program developed creative ways to share their research.

In spring of 2018, the Karl Schlecht Foundation (KSG) invited seven of its sponsored partners to creatively explore creativity as a leadership competence with the call for ideas “LEADERSHIP+CREATIVITY”. The contribution of the WZGE concentrates on the question how leaders can sententiously present complex topics, problems, and solutions so that their audience understands them and gets excited about solving the problem. Creativity is a key to answer this question, and hence also a key to leadership success.

Five doctoral students of the doctoral program “Ethics and Good Leadership in Business” explored this question in a performative way under the lead of Dr. Anja Osswald (DIE DENKBANK) at a workshop on September 3, 2018. Even though the doctoral students does not (yet) occupy leadership positions, they are often faced with the challenge to clearly explain their research to diverse audiences. For the workshop, they had to prepare short presentations of their dissertation projects. In order to encourage them to develop new ways of expression and presentation, they had also to pick out artworks or artefacts illustrating their explanations. The doctoral students jointly refined their presentations during the workshop and finally recorded them.

The workshop results confirm the assumption that creativity helps to successfully share research results. The presentations of the doctoral students also revealed an individually suitable interplay between personality, research topic and mode of expression and presentation: there was the “performer”, who included humoristic and theatrical elements in his presentation, the “analytic”, who developed her work step by step with the help of systematic graphs, the “story teller”, who illustrated theories by using concrete examples, the “philosopher”, whose aesthetic reflections expanded his theoretical deliberations, and the “teacher”, who showed the relevance of her research by pointing to everyday life problems. In addition, the workshop demonstrated on way to stimulate the creativity: unfamiliar tasks within restricted freedom stimulate creativity.

The results of the workshop are presented at the debriefing colloquium of the call for ideas in Berlin at September 19, 2018, and at the KSG-Forum “GOOD LEADERSHIP” in Filderstadt at October 10, 2018.