We consider how to combine creative individuals into creative teams and
organisations in this part of Creativities. We begin by exploring two
methods of blending the creative team. First, analytical 'sifting' to align
individuals in the right formation; second, energetic 'mixing' to animate
the group. Because these methods can lead us in different directions, our
third method requires 'balancing' opposing tendencies. The fourth method,
'remixing', describes the need to reconfigure the team as it begins to lose
focus and purpose. These four different methods require different approaches
to leadership - analytical, charismatic, leading from below, and reflective
or vulnerable leadership. Creativity research has shifted focus from
individual psychology to a sociological paradigm, where it is assumed that
creative processes flow from collective systems and relationships, not just
talented individuals. This means that leaders of creative teams need to
adjust their approach to match the changing dynamics. The different methods
- sifting, mixing, balancing, remixing - also reflect different stages in
the evolution of teams and organisations. 'Sifting' describes a filtering
process which uses metrics like Belbin Team Roles, Myers Briggs Type Index
and Kirton's Adaptation-Innovation Inventory, to identify, recruit and align
the right people to the right roles. This approach assumes that creativity
is relational - it depends upon relationships between team members as much
as it does on the individual's creative capacity, the formation as much as
the players. 'Mixing' is less analytical, trusting in the charismatic leader
or entrepreneur to energise the creative team and drive the process forward.
'Balancing' recognises the limits of leadership, especially charismatic
leadership, and seeks to balance opposing tendencies by adopting a more
detached, reflective leadership style. Finally 'remixing' describes a
process of reinventing and reconfiguring a creative team, bringing in new
people and new systems to replace the old. Here the leader is more
self-critical and delegates power to others in the team, an approach we have
described as 'leading from the middle' or 'leading from below'.
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