Edited by Michael D. Mumford and Sven Hemlin
Chapter 8: Leading for creativity: How leaders manage creative teams
Team creativity has been recognized as an important to organizational success in a competitive market. Organizations face complex problems and frequently utilize teams to solve these problems because of the diverse perspectives, knowledge, and experience of team members. However, creative teams frequently encounter challenges and obstacles to effective problem solving. Leaders of creative teams play a critical part in facilitating team creative problem solving, team effectiveness, and creative outcomes. In this chapter, the authors review the literature on creative team leadership and discuss the vital role of creative team leaders in managing the creative problem-solving effort, managing team social processes, and managing the environment in which the team functions. Leaders manage the creative problem-solving process through facilitating idea generation, promoting effective problem construction, encouraging information sharing among team members, assisting in idea evaluation and selection, and providing support throughout the problem-solving process. Leaders further manage team interactions through capitalizing on the functional diversity of team members, creating an environment of psychological safety and trust, supporting a climate of innovation, managing task and relational conflict, and facilitating effective communication and collaboration. Finally, leaders manage the external environment, referring to both the internal organizational environment (but external to the team), as well as the environment external to the organization. Successful management of the external environment is accomplished by ensuring the team has adequate resources, facilitating communication and collaboration with other teams and with the environment outside of the organization, and serving as a “champion of innovation.”
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