HR Leads Business

Aug 28, 2019 | Teria Mahoney, HRCI Staff

The Importance of Creative Leadership in HR

Day 3 of the California HR Conference 2019 encouraged many reflections on leadership, innovation, building meaningful relationships -- and so much more.

This morning, we kicked off the conference with a keynote presentation from Linda A. Hill, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Bestselling Author of Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation.  

Here are a few highlights from the day.

Bringing Creativity into Leadership

During her session, Hill asked attendants, “What do exceptional leaders of innovation do?” After a moment to ponder her question, Hill gave us an answer gleaned from interviews with and research on top-performing leaders. She has found three shared leadership perspectives. According to Hill, they are:

  • Creative abrasion consists of a marketplace of ideas that are productively challenged. It harnesses the power of conflict to move innovation forward. Innovation will not happen without diversity or constructive confrontation to push it forward. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, creative abrasion is actually a key step in the collaborative process.

  • Creative agility is the rapid-fire testing of ideas combined with design thinking. It’s characterized by the ability to create, test and adapt tools and processes quickly and efficiently. Agility focuses on planning and hypothesizing, reflection on outcomes, and adjustment based on future needs. This process keeps leaders vigilant to the needs of their community.

  • Creative resolution is characterized by integrative decision-making where diverse ideas – even opposable ones – can be combined or reconfigured to create a new solution. It takes two conflicting ideas and reconciles them. This ability to see beyond differences is a valuable trait and helps leaders to make the most of both creative abrasion and creative agility.

Hill’s presentation taught us that great leaders create and sustain a culture where innovation can continue to happen. She also found that great leaders know the importance of managing themselves, their network and team.  

Embracing Difference and Diversity

As a frequent conference attendee, I have truly enjoyed the different types of sessions and diverse content presented at the California HR Conference.  From HRCI test preparation courses, large keynote sessions, concurrent sessions, health/wellness sessions (including morning yoga and walks) to quick, 20-minute sessions offered throughout the expo hall, this conference strives to meet everyone’s needs and makes HR fun and accessible.

Having Fun Along the Way

And, if I learned one thing about my peers this week, it’s that HR professionals really know how to have a good time! To close out the conference, CAHR hosted supergroup Ezra Ray Hart. The songs brought back some high school nostalgia of watching MTV’s Total Request Live (TRL) and jamming out to my favorite 90’s tunes! 

This conference has been the perfect blend of thought leadership content, networking and fun.