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Michael D. Mumford, Sven Hemlin and Tyler J. Mulhearn

In recent years, it has become apparent that the success and survival of firms depends on sustained innovation and the creative efforts of employees. Although many variables influence creativity and innovation, leadership has been found to be one of the most notable, and most powerful, influences on creativity and innovation. In this volume, the editors and contributors examine what is known about the effective leadership of creative efforts with respect to key functions performed by the leaders of creative efforts, the models used to explain the leadership of creative efforts, and the domains, areas, in which we see leadership of creative efforts. This chapter provides an overview of the nature and significance of the topic of this volume, the leadership of creative efforts, and the conclusions emerging from the various chapters included in this volume. Directions for future research are discussed.

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Logan L. Watts, Tyler J. Mulhearn, E. Michelle Todd and Michael D. Mumford

Although the external evaluation of ideas was once held to inhibit creative thought, the role of evaluation has recently been reconceptualized as a tool with the potential to facilitate the generation and implementation of creative ideas. Along these lines, idea evaluation is proposed as a critical, albeit virtually unexamined, function of leaders operating in creative domains. However, leader idea evaluation is a complex, demanding activity. This chapter proposes a number of key challenges and constraints bearing on leader idea evaluation processes, as well as capabilities that may be expected to facilitate the appraisal and revision of followers’ ideas. Several strategies are proposed for supporting the development and execution of these critical leader capabilities, such that follower creativity and organizational innovation are enhanced.

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Michael D. Mumford, Logan M. Steele, Tyler J. Mulhearn, Tristan McIntosh and Logan L. Watts

Although, traditionally, planning has not been seen to be critical to the success of creative efforts, more recent studies indicate that leader planning may, in fact, prove crucial. In this chapter, the authors argue that leaders must work with expertise to craft adaptive plans that allow opportunities for creativity to emerge. They examine the skills leaders need to work with expertise in planning, stressing the importance of scanning, causal analysis, forecasting, and sensemaking. The implications of these observations for the selection and development of those asked to lead creative efforts are discussed.