Saturday, 15 December 2007
Leadership: The Role of Positive Psychology and Creativity
In our MAPP class today we were fortunate enough to have Mark Templeton, O2s Director of Organisation Development, present to us on the positive psychology approach to leadership development that he has implemented with great success over the past year.
One thing that really intrigued me was the mention of David Whyte, a.k.a the "Corporate Poet". I'm a huge fan of using creative approaches in the workplace, ever since I took the fantastic Open University Business School B822 course in Creative Management (now called Creativity, Innovation and Change).
So I followed this up, to see what David Whyte had to say about using poetry in a corporate setting:
"Every worthwhile organization is asking for qualities of adaptability, vitality and creativity. And none of these qualities can be legislated, none of them can be coerced out of people. You cannot invite anyone into your office and say I want a 9 percent increase in your creativity quotient this week. The request is absurd because there is no lever inside that person that they can pull to turn on their creativity. If there was one, they surely would have pulled it years ago.
The only thing you can do is to create a conversation in the workplace that will be invitational to those great qualities of creativity that have long been associated with the soul, with a person’s sense of belonging. The main task of leadership is no longer strategic management, though this will always have importance, but of creating imaginative and participative conversations that bring out the best in themselves and others".
I couldn't agree more - what Whyte says here fits exactly with positive psychology approaches to developing leadership and positive organisations.
Photo Credit: Cygnoir, San Francisco