On the 10th and 11th of April 2013, the “International Innovative Leadership Seminar” was held in the Province of Salta. It was organized by the School of Public Administration, along with the International Leadership Association.
With hundreds of registered participants in attendance, the central concept of the Seminar was presented by the renowned presence of the teachers Skye Burn, a member of the International Leadership Association and the Executive Director of The Flow Project (Arts and Leadership regarding wisdom and the experience of art to transform humanity’s response to the creative challenges of today’s world) and Janet Sanders, the Director of PEOPLEnergy.
The seminar consisted of four levels: Expanded Sensory Perception and Physical Awareness, Understanding the historical and psychological factors, Deepening the Mythical and Symbolic Narrative and the Integral and Spiritual Level.
Leaders today are facing unprecedented complex challenges. In response, a new model of leadership emerges, “the innovative leadership”. Thus, Burns and Sanders presented the first two levels of knowledge that leaders (political, business, union leaders and of other areas) can use in order to develop a holistic (integral) understanding of the situations that they have to address.
Janet Sanders noted that “… for the innovative leader, knowledge and experience provide a new intelligence and understanding that enhance one’s ability to handle social situations …”
Skye Burns emphasized that, “If leaders learn to explore their culture (organization, community and nation) at all four levels, they are able to recognize, recall and build upon the originality of this culture …” because “leaders face unprecedented complex challenges, and in response to them, a new model of leadership emerges, the innovative leadership.”
Currently it has been proven that there are clear differences found between the innovative leader and the efficient executive, profiles that are recognizable by all. Thus, we find the visionary, enthusiastic, creative and motivating innovator; or we find the methodical, disciplined and detailed executive. The former is usually strategically oriented. The latter is oriented towards micromanagement. Both must coexist in the organizations.
What characterizes an innovative leader? Primarily, he knows how to define clear and inspiring visions, for without dreams, an organization or a team will enter a process that will lead to inertia and an immobilization of that system.
This new type of innovative leader must be passionate, believe strongly in their own visions and must be able to transmit them with the same passion in order for the whole team to be on the same page and share in the initiatives. It is said, “The innovative leader is a tremendous leader.”
For this leader there are no goals to meet but instead challenges to face, where one seeks to find the true self and wages a fight against personal fears and automation.
It is about determining the “what” and “when”, and never “how”; managing with confidence and not for control. Here lays the greatest challenge, for “managing with confidence means never being present”, since the best manager is the one who is not present (regardless, he is considering the strategic possibility and is not intruding with the management of everyday projects).
That confidence is not power, but authority, which is gained through experience and empathy.
In summary, leadership is a creative act. There is no leadership without innovation for it is impossible to manage the routine.