Notes from the August 6, 2015 Servant-Leader roundtable held in Waukesha, WI.
Topic: Supporting a creative work environment
- Opportunities for creativity need to be cultivated. While creativity itself is spontaneous, we can create opportunities for creativity.
- There is a time and place for developing creative ideas. The challenge for leaders is to set boundaries for the implementation of creative opportunities.
- The leader is responsible for distinguishing between principles versus policy: principle as guidelines; policy as rules.
- Principles are useful as they define the values that govern.
- While we would like to think we could function by principles only, we need policies to serve as common operating agreements. The key is to tie those policies directly to the governing principles.
- What is the problem we are trying to solve?
- As policy is developed, we need to check to see if the people affected by the policy are included in the development process.
- When people violate policy it is a time to listen to understand why the policy was violated and it is time to validate the policy against the reason for the violation.
Lessons for leaders:
- The less policies the better.
- Do the policies release the energy in the people or does it constrict creativity?
- How do we create the space to validate policy and principle?
- The transparency in policy development comes with developing a trusting relationship.
- As a leader it is sometimes a job to be the interference between corporate policy and the reality of the front line.
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