Creativity, Compassion, & Collaboration: Leading a Risk-Averse Culture That Promotes Ideation and Leaves Ego at the Door


It’s high noon, and onlookers gaze in silence as you stand in the middle of the town, staring down your challenger with one hand hovering over your holster. Strangely, a disagreement in conversation often feels like a duel in the Wild West, where one person absolutely has to come out on top and assume control over the crowd and the discourse. 

But reality doesn’t have to be this way. For dialogue to be meaningful and yield creativity, there has to be some level of compassion, and it has to come from all parties involved in the conversation—especially the leader.

A Fistful of Ideas

You have to ensure and promote the diversity of opinion. Compassion and creativity go hand in hand, and what better way to maximize both than by collaborating with as many contributors as possible, like employees, customers, partners, and expert solvers? You’re the sheriff of your story, and it’s up to you to give everyone in town the equal opportunity to contribute a fistful of ideas.

For a Few Ideas More

You have to talk the talk and walk the walk. It’s not enough to acknowledge an idea and then not go through with it. As a leader you have to cowboy up and support your words with tangible actions, which is why for a few ideas more you have to cultivate a risk-averse culture where contributors feel valued and empowered to express their creativity.

The Good the Bad and The Ugly

You have to leave your ego at the door and go into a conversation with an open mind. This kind of leadership ensures that everyone engaged in the conversation is a fearless gunslinger in their own right that’s capable of dissent. Don’t let contributors conform to your beliefs; let them draw their own ideas, regardless of whether they’re good, bad or ugly.

Ludwig Melik is CEO of Planbox, whose mission is to help organizations thrive by transforming the culture of agile work, continuous innovation, and creativity across the entire organization.. Connect with him on LinkedIn or join the conversation by following Planbox on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.


ABOUT US: We believe in either disrupting or being disrupted, and we chose to disrupt. At the Disruptor League, we want to know you, surprise you and make it easy for you to be a disruptor, too. It’s not all talk; we are changing the world. Join us to see how. We will teach you to use your superpowers and unite with us to change the world. The Disruptor League offers a unique environment to develop, to practice, and to embed design and innovation into your life. You will connect with others who want to make a difference. Relationships will grow, and problems will be solved.


Ludwig Melik

Ludwig Melik is CEO of Planbox, whose mission is to help organizations thrive by transforming the culture of agile work, continuous innovation, and creativity across the entire organization... Connect with him on LinkedIn or join the conversation by following Planbox on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.




Eat Sleep Innovate Book Cover

Eat, Sleep, Innovate: How to Make Creativity an Everyday Habit Inside Your Organization [Interview]

By Braden Kelley | September 30, 2020

I had the opportunity recently to interview fellow author Jeff Gothelf to talk with him about his new book Sense and Respond, which is his second book with his co-author Josh Seiden and a major publisher. Congratulations Jeff! 1. Why is it so important that companies embed the two-way conversation with customers at the center of what they do?

Read More

Unexpected Foes – Weak Links in Innovation Roadmaps

By Dimis Michaelides | September 23, 2020

Imagine you are implementing a transformation program in your organization. You have it all spelt out with the fashionable jargon…

Read More

Leave a Comment