The IBM 2010 Global CEO Study reveals that competency in creative leadership leads the list for standout CEOs. Connie Harryman has further analyzed the Study in the Front End of Innovation blog post ‘Creativity is the new style of leadership’ .
“Creativity is more important than rigor, management discipline, integrity or vision. Our world is becoming incredibly complex and dealing with ambiguity in this complex world requires creativity. When creativity is implemented within an organization, then it is better prepared to deal with some of the massive shifts taking place such as new government regulations, changes in global economic power centers, accelerated industry transformation, growing volumes of data, and rapidly evolving customer preferences. Creative leadership drives the change needed in the organization to stay ahead of the market.”
How can you apply this to law firms? What is a creative leadership in such an organization?
To answer that question you need to focus on the core business of a law firm, which in essence, is to sell knowledge. This means that the internal knowledge of a law firm is the base for the business and the whole organization. By supporting the core business (i.e. the knowledge) by a strategic knowledge management focus, the firm can leverage the knowledge and experience within the firm and make the knowledge sharing an enabler for innovation and business development.
As regards the innovation approach the focus from a KM perspective is on expertise and collaboration, with the goal to combine knowledge sharing with business development by supporting the lawyers to share new business ideas, find new ways of solving problems and new ways of providing legal services. By making knowledge available, in combination with collaboration and sharing of the accumulated experience within the firm, the lawyers will have the possibility to receive information about new ways of solving problems, market analysis, tactical negotiations and formulation of legal structures. By that, the lawyers will also obtain great opportunities to become aware of new possibilities and new ways of delivering their services, thus making the KM work an enabler for business development and innovative solutions.
By a creative leadership in a law firm you can drive the focus on strategic knowledge management, thereby driving the change needed in the organization to stay ahead of the market. Could it then not be argued that knowledge management is the basis for a truly creative leadership of law firms? And that a standout law firm CEO is someone who rewards knowledge sharing and takes advantage of it by turning it into creative thinking?
Or, as stated by Connie Harryman, “creativity is the leading indicator of leadership quality.”