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On Creativity, Innovation, and Renewal shows leaders how toestablish a workplace environment that encourages creativity andinnovation while creating a sense of passion and importance. Partof the Leader to Leader Guides, which offer a wellspring of richinsight and information from top leadership thinkers, it featuresleading experts on strategic innovation, sparking creativity, andtransforming organizations.
Drawn from Leader to Leader, the award-winning journal, OnCreativity, Innovation, and Renewal brings together Gary Hamel,Stephen Jay Gould, Noel Tichy, John Seely Brown, and other thoughtleaders to offer practical guidance for those who seek to leadtheir companies through organizational change. The book addressessuch key issues as the need to focus on the customer and thenecessity of building community within the enterprise whilestrengthening the organization's position in the community beyondits walls.
Each of the four volumes in the Leader to Leader Guides-On Missionand Leadership, On Leading Change, On High-PerformanceOrganizations, and On Creativity, Innovation, and Renewal — isorganized around an essential topic with a diversity of viewspresented in clear, short chapters. These essential collectionsprovide leaders with insight and inspiration to take theirorganizations to new levels of excellence.
To be sustainable, an organization must scan its environment to identify major trends; review its mission and refine it to reflect changes in the environment; abandon outdated views and practices; develop strategic goals that embody its desired future, based on its mission and values; and measure performance based on these. It must cultivate innovation; finance the few initiatives that will make a difference; deploy resources where they will have the most impact; refine communication; provide continuous learning opportunities; initiate job rotation and expansion; create a marketing mind-set; listen to the customer; and recognize technology as a tool, not a driver. It must create dispersed, fluid leadership; facilitate leadership development and transition; focus on strengths rather than weaknesses; increase diversity; form strategic partnerships; and contribute to the community.
I was struggling to write this article about what leaders and organizations must do, today, to be viable and relevant 10 years from now. I told Rob Johnston, our president, that I thought the title would be "When the Roll Is Called in 2010." He left and shortly returned to my office with a Web site printout of a great old hymn I remember from my Methodist Sunday School days: "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder, I'll Be There." That wasn't exactly what I had in mind.
My concern is with how our actions today shape our legacy. Building a sustainable organization is one of a leader's primaryresponsibilities. When the challenges of today have been met, will your organization have the vigor to grow tomorrow? When the roll is called in 2010, will your organization be present?
Few social observers project that the years 2001-2010 will be easy ones for organizations in the public, private, and social sectors. Instead, tenuous, turbulent, and tough are the descriptors I hear when thought leaders evoke the future. But inclusive, wide open, and promising are part of the picture as well.
To meet the challenges and opportunities of the years to come requires hard work. My checklist—not for survival but for a successful journey to 2010—includes the following points:
Frances Hesselbein is editor in chief of Leader to Leader, chairman of the board of governors of the Drucker Foundation, and former chief executive of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
About the Editors.
1. When the Role Is Called in 2010 (Frances Hesselbein).
2. Innovation: The New Route to New Wealth (Gary Hamel and PeterSkarzynski).
3. The Spice of Life (An Interview with Stephen Jay Gould).
4. Gene Politics and the Natural Selection of Leaders (NigelNicholson).
5. The Growth Imperative (Noel Tichy).
6. How Managers Can Spark Creativity (Dorothy Leonard and WalterSwap).
7. The Business Case for Passion (An Interview with RandyKomisar).
8. Sustaining the Ecology of Knowledge (John Seely Brown).
9. Making the Leap to Internet Time (Patricia B. Seybold).
10. The Residue of Leadership: Why Ambition Matters (JamesChampy).
11. The Challenge of Strategic Innovation (Costas Markides).
12. The New Merchants of Light (Harriet Rubin).