Courage and Creativity  

22nd April 2020 - Rosi Lister

Rosi Lister considers how, in times of crisis, we need courage and creativity more than ever

The news, which in recent days has swung between reports about low supplies of Personal Protective Equipment for our health workers and apocalyptic predictions about the economic impact of the pandemic, have left me questioning the very nature of our business and what relevance we have, if we are lucky enough to ride this out. I have, in the quiet moments of my home-based working day, mused whether Creative Leadership is a luxury that most, now scrabbling for survival of their business and their workforce, cannot spare a thought for. I, like many I assume, feel as though we should be turning our hand to more practical things to help at a time of acute and multidimensional challenge.

I hear of the families who are frantically trying to juggle home-working for themselves and their children whilst cooped up without an outside space. I witness colleagues sitting with their partners in sitting rooms, kitchens and bedrooms, managing concurrent video conferences and the distractions caused by family life and an internet infrastructure stretched to its limit. And I then I hear of the incredible valour not only of our NHS and care workers, but of the businesses stepping out of their ‘normal’ manufacturing operations to produce and even re-design ventilators, protective masks and hand sanitiser, to deliver meals to the isolated and provide a lifeline to strangers. I hear of how we are finding ways to support the many vulnerable children who are not necessarily protected in hub-schools and how we are reinventing social media as a force for good in dealing with our mental health.

Throughout history, during times of greatest adversity, human creativity comes to the fore.

I then think what a marvellous, creative and adaptable species we are and realise that the Creative Leadership of individuals and businesses up and down our country is vital. Creativity is innate in the human condition, but many of us have submerged it under many layers of ‘process’ designed either to protect us or to make things more efficient and accountable. In truth these are now obsolete. We hang by a thread. But with so many examples of businesses of all shapes and sizes reacting to the current situation through innovation and business transformation we can all see that crisis, by its very nature brings out our survival instinct. If we could only stop to recognise the positive changes in our behaviour that crisis brings about, we would be in a very powerful position.

Only through courage and our creative pioneering spirit will we stride over these turbulent waters and find new ways of living with and for others.

In the last three weeks IVE have offered staff time off in their working week to volunteer for the NHS, our senior managers have volunteered to be furloughed to protect front-line staff and we are surveying all our partners, clients and associates to ask what they need in terms of our help.

We would love to be able to continue to offer our highly acclaimed Creative Leadership programmes including our accredited apprenticeships; our four day professional development programmes that can be tailored to your own business sector or operational needs; our high performing teams programme that targets SMEs; our simple one-day taster session or our new online courses designed for you, your managers or your emerging bright young stars who will be the leaders of the future.

At IVE we honestly believe that having courage and being creative in these times of crisis, is the answer. If you think so too we’d like to hear from you. Please help us help you by completing our survey here or contact us direct at hello@weareive.org for a chat about what we can do together.

Rosi Lister, Chief Executive, IVE

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